The past few months has seen the fashion industry come in for a fair amount of criticism over its treatment of models, assistants and creatives.
Tales of sexual abuse, assault and harassment are all too common but are only just coming to light, thanks to the #MeToo movement.
And to make sure this recent surge of activism and openness doesnt dry up, New Yorks Model Alliance is calling for a new programme to ensure the safety of models.
Its launched a new RESPECT programme, which hopes to set guidelines as to how employees should be treated and how they can move forward.
In an open letter to the fashion industry, Model Alliance writes: As models, our images serve a commercial purpose but our bodies remain ours.
Agreeing to be photographed or filmed as professional representatives of a product or brand does not constitute agreement to be groped, fondled, involuntarily disrobed or worse.
The RESPECT programme has been designed by models and claims to go beyond words of sympathy and band-aid fixes, and works towards prevention by empowering models to identify and uproot these abuses, backed by the enforcement power of the top companies in fashion.
It says that the programme also recognises that models face other problems like body-shaming, bullying, pressure to lose weight and jeopardize their health in order to book jobs, being paid late or not all.
RESPECT will go beyond addressing specific acts of sexual harassment and also seek to foster a work environment that is no longer fertile ground for abuse.
Model Alliance was founded in 2012 by former model Sara Ziff, to fight for fairer working conditions for people working in fashion.
Sara openly slammed Karl Lagerfeld for the outrageous comments he made about the #MeToo movement in an interview he did with French magazine, Numéro.
Hes reported to have said that hes fed up with it.
What shocks me most in all of this are the starlets who have taken 20 years to remember what happened. Not to mention the fact there are no prosecution witnesses.
To which Sara commented: Mr. Lagerfelds flippant dismissal of reports of abuse, and his characterization of models who have come forward as “stupid”, “toxic” and “sordid creatures” who should quit their profession if they do not like how they are treated surely demands action.
You can sign the Alliances open letter here.