Vogue is calling on the industry to stop hiring models under the age of 18.
And theyre leading the way by refusing to book underage models for the magazine.
Vogue and the CFDA announced that they will no longer book models under 18 in an effort to make the fashion industry less exploitative.
In an article in the September issue announcing the move, Maya Singer explains that the fashion industry has developed an unhealthy cycle of hiring young, vulnerable models who will fit tiny sample sizes, failing to give them adequate support for the pressures and temptation (drugs, alcohol) theyll face, then dumping them once theyve grown too large for sizing thats supposedly marketed at adult women.
This is damaging to the young models themselves, who all too often face long, exhausting hours, pressure to undertake extreme diets, and exploitation of their lack of knowledge of the industry, and to fashion lovers who are subconsciously told that the beauty ideal is someone underage.
No more: Its not right for us, its not right for our readers, and its not right for the young models competing to appear in these pages, writes Maya. While we cant rewrite the past, we can commit to a better future.
Vogue recognises that the magazine was absolutely part of the problem. Back in 1980, a 14-year-old Brooke Shields appeared on the cover.
But theyre committed to making a change.
The decision follows Condé Nasts announcement of a global vendor code of conduct in response to the #MeToo movement, which established harassment-free zones, private dressing rooms, and allowances for models to approve poses and clothing.
Another set of provisions addresses the age of models, explains Maya. In recognition of the unique vulnerability of minors thrown into a career where they have little control and where abuse has been all too commonplace, the vendor code of conduct stipulates that no model under the age of eighteen will be photographed for editorial (unless he or she is the subject of an article, in which case the model will be both chaperoned and styled in an age-appropriate manner).
So that means youll no longer spot young teens modeling haute couture in Vogue. Even Kaia Gerber, whos walked the runway for Chanel and Calvin Klein, will need to wait two more years before shell be booked by Vogue.
The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) is on board, so Vogues choice may push the rest of the fashion industry into action.
Young models are still developing, said CFDA president Steven Kolb. There can be a lack of the confidence, strength, experience, and maturity it takes to deal with the pressures of this work.
The CFDA supports the recommendation of raising the minimum age – we want young models to have the time to come into their own so they feel safe and in charge in the workplace.