For decades, junior models have been covered in makeup and clothes that age them drastically. Now, Kering is taking a stand and putting an age minimum on who can model adult clothing.
Representation is important in the modelling and fashion industry so dressing a 15-year-old up like a 23-year-old just seems off. Kering has recently announced that it will only be hiring models aged 18 and older to represent adults in runway shows and at photo shoots.
“As a global luxury group, we are conscious of the influence exerted on younger generations in particular by the images produced by our Houses,” said chairman and CEO François-Henri Pinault. “We believe that we have a responsibility to put forward the best possible practices in the luxury sector and we hope to create a movement that will encourage others to follow suit.”
This is another step in a positive direction for the fashion industry. The announcement follows Kering and LMVH’s 2017 charter on working relations that restricts under 16s from modelling adult clothing and bans the need to have ultra-thin models.
“In our view, the physiological and psychological maturity of models aged over 18 seem more appropriate to the rhythm and demands that are involved in this profession. We are also aware of the role-model element that images produced by our Houses can represent for certain groups of people,” declared Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of International Institutional Affairs at Kering.
Brands such as Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney are currently housed under the Kering Group.
US Group, Conde Nast also issued a global code of conduct in 2018. It is no longer permissible for the group’s vendors and publications to photograph models under the age of 18 for editorials. Sara Zaff, founder and director of Model Alliance, said, “What’s really needed are industry-wide standards that are actually enforceable, because even… where we’ve seen more progress, there still aren’t [legal] standards.”
The new policy is set in place for 2020/2021 fall/winter collections.
The modelling industry still has a long way to go to ensure safe working environments for models of all ages. The introduction of such policies from leading fashion industry groups is a step in the right direction and hints towards a promising future.
Let us know what you think of Kering’s latest announcement in the comments below.