Back in May, editors at all 19 editions of Vogue took a six-point pledge called the Health Initiative that outlined restrictions on model use to the end of encouraging “a healthier approach to body image within the industry.” Clause number one? Don’t knowingly work with models under 16.
Alas, it took but a few short months for two editions to break this rule, after 15-year-old Ondria Hardin popped up in Vogue China’s August issue and 14-year-old Thairine Garcia shot a spread intended to run in December for Vogue Japan. Condé Nast brass is, understandably, less-than-pleased with the offending editors, and has responded to the online backlash with a statement to WWD:
“The Health Initiative banning underage models is very serious, and we will reinforce it. I apologize for the error that took place in China. We will do everything possible to prevent future errors.”
Of course, it seems pretty incredible that the titles didn’t just do their homework and prevent this situation from happening in the first place, especially since the ages of both models were readily accesible via a quick Google query. Come on bookings editors! Get thee to a search engine!
However, at least one good thing has come of out of this mess — now that those in charge are painfully aware of the media scrutiny (read: blogger watchdogs) they’re up against, we would be surprised if the “errors” do continue. Now if only designers like Marc Jacobs, who regularly flouts industry recommendations and indeed hired both aforementioned models for his latest show, would take a similar stand.