Owners of brands such as Saint Laurent and Louis Vuitton say they want to persuade others in the industry to follow suit
France’s top fashion houses have pledged to stop underage and sizing zero models from featuring in catwalk shows and advertising campaigns.
The move, which comes on the eve of New York fashion week, declared by French luxury groups LVMH and Kering, proprietors of some of the biggest labels in haute couture including Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Gucci.
The industry has long been accused of promoting unhealthy torso images to women and ignoring well-documented health problems experienced by simulates. This year the French government voted in favour a law involving simulates to have a medical certificate corroborating they were not dangerously underweight.
The LVMH-Kering Charter on working relations and the well-being of frameworks bans certain decorators from featuring women who wear the French size 32- a size zero in the US. Female modelings must be at least a French sizing 34( US size 2; UK size 6) and male frameworks a French size 44( internationally labelled as XXS ).
It added:” No model under 16 times is likely to be recruited to take part in fashion demonstrates or photographic conferences representing adults .”
Antoine Arnault, son of LMVH director Bernard Arnault and a member of the company’s handling, told:” A young girl of 15 years old does not have the required experience to deal with the difficult world of modelling .”
Francois-Henri Pinault, son of Kering owner Francois Pinault, added:” We wanted to move quickly and hit hard so that things really change. We’re trying to persuade as many others in our profession to follow us .”
Kering and LVMH said the rules would apply to all companies in their groups.
” The two groups are placing respect for and the dignity of women at the heart of their values: that’s why we’ve always had, including with regard to, the wellbeing of the modelings we work with in brain ,” it said.
” The two groups have agreed to only work with models who hold a valid medical credential proving their good health and ability to work, which must have been obtained in the six months before a photograph session or show .”
As well as banning underage models, those between 16 -1 8 years will no longer be allowed to work between 11 pm and 6am and must be accompanied by a mother or chaperone if required to stay away from home.
” The wellbeing of our models is a fundamental subject ,” the statement from LVMH read.
A bill approved by the French parliament in December 2015, that came into effect this year, induced it obligatory for frameworks working in France to acquire a medical credential to prove they are healthy, with fines handed out to those who don’t. The bill also obliged magazines to flag up photograph that had been touched up or Photoshopped.
In France, up to 40,000 people- most of them adolescent ladies- have anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder with a high mortality rate.
Eric Perceval, secretary general of the French Federation of Model Organization, welcomed a charter of fundamental rights and the new rules, mentioning modelling agencies had been unfairly blamed in the past.
” Until now all they( bureaux) have done is respond to the requirements of the clients … bureaux have never been the ones who’ve had the final decision over what model will do what advertising campaign or indicate. All they’ve done is propose simulates they envision correspond to the clients’ criteria ,” Perceval said in a statement to the Guardian.
However, he said he did not belief the measures would reduce cases of anorexia, which he added” is an illness that existed before the development of the fashion industry … To criticise frameworks and designers as causes of anorexia is a refusal to understand the real source of eating disorders .”