Saturday 10 December 2016

Prey-a-porter: How young is too young in the fashion world?

Published 23/10/2016 | 02:30

Features writer Katie Byrne
Features writer Katie Byrne

Fashion designer Victoria Beckham recently came under fire for using excessively thin models in her spring/summer 2017 show at New York Fashion Week. Less was said about her decision to cast a 15-year-old model, Julie Ratner, to showcase her designs.

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The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) "strongly recommends" that fashion designers don't use under-age models in their shows. Meanwhile, models under the age of 16 are banned from London and Copenhagen Fashion Weeks, while many international editions of Vogue magazine have pledged not to feature under-age models on their editorial pages.

This is progress but it didn't hinder Beckham. Make no mistake: the supply and demand equation still exists. Model scouts continue to search for 'fresh faces' between the ages of 14 and 16 (younger in some cases) because many of the big fashion houses still want under-age models to showcase their designs.

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