Fashion powerhouses behind Alexander McQueen, Gucci and Dior announce ban on ultra-thin models
Two of the world’s biggest fashion giants today announced they are joining forces to ban ultra-thin models from the catwalks.
Global fashion powerhouses Kering - whose brands include Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and Gucci - and LVMH, home to Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Marc Jacobs, said they have decided to establish a charter “for the well-being of models”.
At the heart of the pledge, the first time the two firms have joined forces, is a commitment to ban female models with size 32 in French measurements, the equivalent of size four in the UK, and male models with size 42 from their casting requirements.
Other measures, which will be implemented by both groups’ brands worldwide, include models having to present a recent medical certificate “attesting to their good health and ability to work”.
Hiring models aged below 16 in shows or shoots representing an adult will be banned, while 16- to 18-year-old models will not be allowed to work between 10pm and 6am.
They will also have to be accompanied by a chaperone or guardian and brands must ask agencies to ensure they meet their school attendance obligations.
In addition, provisions must be made to allow models to make direct complaints in the case of a dispute with a brand, casting director or modelling agency.
The announcement was made on the eve of New York Fashion Week, which starts tomorrow, before the industry decamps to the UK for London Fashion Week next week.
François-Henri Pinault, the chief executive of Kering, said: "Respecting the dignity of all women has always been both a personal commitment for me and a priority for Kering."
"Through the establishment of this charter and our commitment to abide by its terms, we are once again manifesting the importance of this core value in a very concrete manner."
Pinault, who is married to actress Salma Hayek, added: "We hope to inspire the entire industry to follow suit, thus making a real difference in the working conditions of fashion models industry-wide."
Antoine Arnault, a member of LVMH’s board of directors and the boss of its Berluti brand, said: "The well-being of models is of great importance to us."
"As the leader in the luxury sector, we believe it is our role to be at the forefront of this initiative. We have the responsibility of building new standards for fashion."
In recent years models such as Molly Bair, from the US, and Sweden’s Chloe Memisevic have made headlines for their thin frame when walking on London Fashion Week catwalks.
Last year London model Charli Howard, 23, a UK size 6-8, criticised her former model agency for telling her she was "out of shape".
Caroline Rush CBE, chief executive of the British Fashion Council, said: "Model health is an integral part of industry best practice and is taken seriously by the British Fashion Council."
"It is great to see two powerhouses in luxury working together to commit to this charter, sending a strong message around health, well-being and support for younger models."