Top Fashion Houses Ban Under Age Models

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Faith Patton

High-end clothing brands such as Gucci, Saint Laurent, and Alexander McQueen have all announced that they will no longer be hiring models who are underage. They have pledged to only be working with models who are 18 and over. The new rules apply to both fashion shows and photo shoots.

About two years ago, Kering and rival conglomerate LVMH (who owns brands like Louis Vuitton and Fendi) published a piece of models well-being during work . This set the minimum working age to 16 years old. Last year, a 15-year-old girl, Olivia Forsbrook, became one of the youngest models at fashion week– partially because of the push from her mom.

“I think it should be 18,” says Alec Perry, a recently graduated High School senior from Boca Raton, Florida. “Unless they are modeling for baby gap or something. There’s really no need for children to be exposed to these pressure and scrutinizes at such a young age.”

These changes were introduced after 14-year-old Russian model Vlada Dzyuba, fell ill and collapsed. She suddenly died while working in China in October 2017. The tragic debate started conversations about underage models and what type of working environments they are being put in.

The new policy will go into effect during Autumn-Winter 2020 collections. But there’s more to it than that.

Marie Claire Daveu, chief sustainability officer and head of international institution affairs at Kering, made a statement. “In our view, the psychological and physiological maturity of models over the age of 18 seems more appropriate to the rhythm and demands that come with being in this profession.” She continued with, “We are also aware of the role model element that images produced by our Houses can represent for certain groups of people.”