With NYFW Approaching, CFDA Promotes Runway Health

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This year’s Health Initiative Statement for fashion shows has been released by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), according to WWD. With New York Fashion Week right around the corner, Feb. 1-4 for men’s and Feb. 11-18 for women’s, the statement is a timely reminder to designers that health is an important part of fashion.

The association’s chair, Diane von Furstenberg, and its CEO, Steven Kolb, emailed their reminder to promote wellness on the runway Jan. 25, said WWD. The letter includes a note about the association’s guidelines for health of models and during shows. It also adds a clear statement against unhealthy practices in the name of fashion: “The models’ well-being is paramount – beauty is health and health is beauty.”

The statement also encourages designers showing at NWFW to keep to their schedules as much as they can, so that models who are in multiple shows will not have time conflicts and shows will not be delayed.

A trade association of designers for fashion and accessories, the CFDA issues a health statement for shows twice annually, before NYFW.

Recently, French laws mandated that models in France have to show a doctor’s certification of health, including verification of a healthy body mass index, according to Yahoo Style. Israel mandates an 18.5 BMI for models. And if companies retouch models’ bodies in pictures, they have to note it, both in France and Israel.

The CFDA Health Initiative guidelines say that their focus is awareness, not regulation. In addition to the guidelines, there is a list of warning signs for eating disorders. The CFDA recommends that models who are being treated for eating disorders stop modeling until they receive professional approval to continue.

Other guidelines include recommendations for healthy practices regarding underage models, mental health, and management during shows. Underage models should not be allowed to work past midnight, and designers should require models with eating disorders to get professional help, says the guide. It also says that those running shows should ensure that models receive their breaks, snacks, and water, as well as education for fitness and nutrition.

The fashion industry has frequently come under criticism for models’ health, as well as the body image that excessive thinness in particular promotes. The CFDA is creating an initiative for change.

I'm a lover of words in all forms, sweatshirts in all conditions, and God in all circumstances. I particularly enjoy working collaboratively on the written word and wearing microfiber robes (preferably at the same time). Most of the time I don't get enough sleep, but I make a valiant effort.

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