And we’re off! NYC fashion week has begun! Over the years, many have begun to actively work towards activism and protection of our models. In 2010, Coco Rocha penned her infamous letter to the NYTimes and in 2011, Sara Ziff created The Model Alliance (more on both here). Amazing strides towards a better and healthier industry. Meanwhile, around the world, Madrid and Israel have imposed industry mandates and government enforced regulations, respectively (more on both here). The United States’ fashion industry continues to be self-regulated. In 2007 the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) took a step in imposing industry guidelines of their own (see here).
This year, however, the CFDA teamed up with Organic Avenue, a juice and health-food retailer well known for their juice cleanses, and is offering models a 50% discount during fashion week. While it is true that the 50% discount is for anything in the stores, not just juice cleanses, paired with Sara Ziff’s report of a Model Alliance survey (that showed 64% of models who responded had been asked by their agents to lose weight, 48.7% had done cleanses and 31% had suffered from an eating disorder), my guess is that the message the majority of models will take away is for them to lose weight for the runway.
We must acknowledge that the CFDA is working to uphold their health initiative guidelines but I wonder if this is effective or if it is a confusing mixed message that perpetuates unhealthy behaviors. What do you think?