Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin might be fashion photography’s most famous and influential duo, so to hear them take a strong stance on the prevalence of underage models is heartening — but it also begs the question: why hasn’t their policy received more press?
In an interview with Style.com pegged to their new book, Pretty Much Everything, the pair explained how they decided to only shoot models aged 18 and up.
I read that you don’t shoot models under the age of 18. Was that a conscious decision?
VM: Very conscious.
IVL: We saw this happen to so many models, especially with girls. They start at 14 and everyone says to them, “Wow, you’re incredible. You’re so skinny. You look like a boy.” And once that girl is 18 and her body is finished growing, all of a sudden it was like, “Oh, she’s fat.” The poor girl. She’s just growing. We felt it was unethical to support that. You get judged anyway and it’s not easy. You have to really know who you are first. And at such a tender age—between 14 and 18—you’re figuring out who you are.
Now if only more photographers — and designers and casting agents — would follow suit.