Paris-based designer, Isabel Marant, is the quintessential Parisian woman. She has taken the fashion industry by storm with her embroidered jackets and easy-chic wares, not to mention her footwear. You may recall that she started the wedge sneaker trend. She sat down with the Guardian recently to talk about her H&M collection, which crashed the fast fashion retailer’s website before selling out almost instantaneously. She said she used “exactly the same fabric” for a particular skirt that she uses for her own collection. She also took on the topic of underage models, saying: “Sometimes we give an image of life that will never exist, using models who are 15 and pretending they are 35 or 40, and when you are 35 or 40 you want to look like this when you will never be able to. So there’s a bit of a disconnect.”
While the designer isn’t shy about speaking up about the average age of models that walk during Fashion Week, don’t get your hopes up about seeing real girls on the Isabel Marant runway anytime soon. The designer says, “I can’t – most of the girls [the agencies send] are 15 years old. I try to use girls who have personality. When they walk in a room, I’ll think: ‘Ah! There’s something to this girl.’ It’s more a way of moving or being that means something to me.”
While I’m not exactly buying that she “can’t” cast younger girls, in Marant’s defense, she isn’t casting the youngest of the young (a la Marc Jacobs circa February 2012). Aymeline Valade, Joan Smalls, Magda Frackowiak (pictured above), Abbey Lee, Anja Rubik, Nadja Bender (also pictured above) and Arizona Muse – all Isabel Marant favorites – are actually “older girls” in the industry. Because in fashion, 22 is old. While I am not holding my breathe for new faces to be 19 or 20 years old, designers addressing the issue is promising, right?