Vogue Says It Will No Longer Allow Models Under 18 On Their Pages

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Conde Nast, and by extension Vogue, have recently made history with a recent decision that may set the tone for the fashion industry. In a recent statement, the publication has announced that they will no longer be using underage models. A decision which comes in the wake of the #MeToo movement, which has been instrumental in highlighting the innate issues in the industry that may affect underage girls.

Writer Maya Singer published an official piece in the magazine’s September issue, stating “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 18 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).

This comes after the CFDA has instituted an industry guideline mandating for runaways, stating that no model under the age of sixteen could be cast in a fashion show. While this has not necessarily fully stopped labels from casting underage models; some, such as Diane Von Furstenberg, have heeded these new rules.

The truth is that the widespread casting of teenaged models came about with a shift in the industry itself. Back in the days of Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell, it used to be that designers would fit clothes to the measurements of a particular model. However, as runway shows have begun to cast more and more models, the standard has shifted to models having to fit into a range of sample sizes. A feat which is most easily accomplished by teenagers.

“It used to be, the fittings would take forever,” said David Bonnouvrier, cofounder/CEO of DNA Model Management. “Now the girls are cast to fit the dress.”

This new standard has been cited as the cause of many issues in the industry, such as forcing young girls to diet in order to compete for slots in fashion shows. CFDA President and CEO Steven Kolb says “Young models are still developing. There can be a lack of confidence, strength, experience, and maturity to deal with the pressures of this work. The CFDA supports the recommendation of raising the minimum age – we want young models to have time to come into their own so they feel safe and in charge in the workplace.”

Of course, the history of the fashion industry’s treatment of models has a long history of problems, and many of these issues will not go away overnight. However, with major publications such as Vogue adopting this standard, the industry could be on the way to progress. As Singer says in her article, “No more: It’s not right for us, it’s not right for our readers, and it’s not right for the young models competing to appear on these pages. While we can’t rewrite the past, we can commit to a better future.”

Featured Image via Flickr/theresaunfried

Proud Latina Feminist. My likes include strong coffee, watching the previews that come on before the movie, and things that come in pretty packages. I've been a bibliophile and fashion lover since well before I could read or tie my own shoes.

    • Dwee1

      I support the decision and think it is important for young girls to focus on developing who they are opposed to how they look like they would need to as models.

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