New York has passed a state law that protects models under the age of 18 in the same way it does for child performers (think: how many hours they can work, how often they can work and how late they can be kept at a job), thanks to the recent signature of Governor Cuomo and the ongoing efforts of many dedicated individuals. In addition to Sara Ziff, who is the founder of the Model Alliance, the industry's premier watch dog organization, Coco Rocha, Alison Nix, and other of-age models, there is an additional member of the Model Alliance, who has provided integral support for the Child Model Bill, as it is often referred to: 13-year old model Lily Goodman. We caught up with Lily, who talked about the passage of the bill, why she is involved in the Model Alliance, what being a child model is like, and more ...
The Fashion Law - How old are you? Where are you from and what grade are you in?
Lily Goodman - I just turned 13 years old and live in Richmond,VA. I am an 8th grader at St. Catherine's School.
The Fashion Law - When did you start modeling? What are some of the jobs you've done?
Lily Goodman - I started modeling at age 2. My agency is Modelogic-Wilhelmina in Richmond Virginia. I have been involved in everything from runway to print ads to local tv commercials. Most recently I was featured in a national ad campaign (the blue campaign) for homeland security to raise awareness about human trafficking. While I was on the set, I learned many young models are lured into human trafficking through sham modeling agencies and agents.
The Fashion Law - Why did you get involved with the Model Alliance?
Lily Goodman - I joined the Model Alliance last year When I learned about their work to protect young models. My mom met Sara Ziff and told her about an essay that I wrote for school about the modeling industry and human trafficking. I wanted to help get this law passed because I believe with this law in place many young girls may be saved from human trafficking.
The Fashion Law - I know the bill is the result of the work of many very dedicated individuals, especially those in the Model Alliance. How do you feel about Governor Cuomo signing it into law?
Lily Goodman - I am thankful that Governor Cuomo listened to all of the phone calls and social media post and did the right thing. I am very happy that all of the child models in New York will have the same protection as other child entertainers.
The Fashion Law - You have said that you are so lucky because your mother travels with you for work. As a model, are you able to go to school regularly, or are you home schooled or tutored?
Lily Goodman - I attend school regularly at St Catherine's in Richmond. I am only 13 so it hasn't been necessary for me to miss a lot of school yet. When I do miss school, I work harder to make up work and my teachers are helpful. I want to attend UVA and be an attorney one day so education is very important to me. With the new laws in place, models won't have to choose between education and a modeling career since they can have both.
The Fashion Law - Last question: How do you like to spend your time when you aren't modeling?
Lily Goodman - I play the harp, sing in the choir at my school and hangout with my brother Nick and sisters, Julia and Catherine.