Marc Jacobs may well be beating out Lilo and Snooki with all the blaring headlines he’s snagged this week. His “Model-gate” scandal, where Jacobs admitted to not only hiring underage models but not paying them, has been public for less that a week and shows no sign of losing momentum — and Jacobs himself seems to be fueling the fire. The designer sat down with Time magazine on the last day of New York Fashion Week to discuss his refusal to adhere to CFDA guidelines.
The newly minted guidelines state models under the age of 16 cannot be hired for runway shows. In a not-so-articulate response, Jacobs argued, “You have child actors and children who model for catalogs,” he says. “What’s the difference between doing a commercial for peanut butter and being on a runway? I was just kind of doing what I felt, I don’t ever mean to be provocative.”
Provocation or not, what Jacobs fails to realize is that child actors and underage models can’t really be compared side by side since the regulations for each one are totally different. Underage models are considered “independent contractors” and are not regulated, while child actors have laws protecting them from overwork and mandating education. So the difference between hawking peanut butter and walking a runway? Actually, kind of a lot. Nevertheless, Jacobs has never been one to submit to convention and it seems like he’s not starting now.
[The Cut, Time (sub. req’d)]