Vogue Joins in Modeling Standards Effort

Vogue is joining in the efforts of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and the Model Alliance, an industry watchdog organization, in trying to promote health and safety standards for models. Beginning in June, the editors of the respective Vogue magazines (there's 19 in total) have vowed to stop using "underage" models. In the industry, this means models under the age of 16. Further, they have vowed to stop using girls who they deem to appear to have an eating disorder. Today, Condé Nast International chairman, Jonathan Newhouse, said: “Vogue editors around the world want the magazines to reflect their commitment to the health of the models who appear on the pages and the well-being of their readers.”

This is not necessarily a surprising move as Anna Wintour, editor of American Vogue and Franca Sozzani, editor of Italian Vogue, have recently participated in efforts facilitated by the Council of Fashion Designers of America to promote healthier standards in the modeling industry. We'll see if this actually works considering the CFDA's Health Initiative has not run as smoothly as the organization would probably like. The trade organization's board member Marc Jacobs refused to abide by the Initiative, casting two underage girls in his most recent New York Fashion Week show. Ford Models similarly represents several girls under the age of 16.

The Vogue announcement included the following six-point pact:

1. We will not knowingly work with models under the age of 16 or who appear to have an eating disorder. We will work with models who, in our view, are healthy and help to promote a healthy body image.

2. We will ask agents not to knowingly send us underage girls and casting directors to check IDs when casting shoots, shows and campaigns.

3. We will help to structure mentoring programs where more mature models are able to give advice and guidance to younger girls, and we will help to raise industry-wide awareness through education, as has been integral to the Council of Fashion Designers of America Health Initiative.

4. We will encourage producers to create healthy backstage working conditions, including healthy food options and a respect for privacy. We will encourage casting agents not to keep models unreasonably late.

5. We encourage designers to consider the consequences of unrealistically small sample sizes of their clothing, which limits the range of women who can be photographed in their clothes, and encourages the use of extremely thin models.

6. We will be ambassadors for the message of healthy body image.