After she spent all that time writing up those rules about how CFDA members shouldn’t use models under the age of 16 during fashion week, Diane von Furstenberg said she was “horrified” to learn that a 15-year-old model by the name of Hailey Clauson ended up walking in her show. How long do you think it’ll be before her casting people get fired?
Von Furstenberg, if you recall, inspired WWD editor Bridget Foley to write that nonsensical diary entry about how the fashion industry is in no way responsible for the health of models after writing a set of guidelines about model health standards. The designer (also president of the CFDA) partnered with a fancy Harvard doctor to write a refresher of the CFDA’s Health Initiative guidelines, including not hiring models younger than 16 for runway shows and providing healthy working environments backstage at the tents.
So when it was brought to her attention that Clauson, who won’t be 16 until next month, walked in her show last week, she freaked out and emailed the entire CFDA. WWD reposted a portion of the email, which we’ve included below.
“As you remember, I sent you all a letter prior to the shows, emphasizing healthy models and diversity, and reminding you of our Health Guidelines,” von Furstenberg stated in the letter. “One of the guidelines, as you know, is not to hire models under 16 in addition to making sure that all of them are properly fed. Well, it is to my horror, that I discovered last Friday that in spite of me repeating that to my production and casting people, one girl slipped through the cracks. One girl who will be 16 in March walked my show last week!”
“I was horrified and terribly embarrassed,” she said. “From now on I will instruct my casting people to demand IDs. I encourage you to do the same. I am trying to be a good leader and set an example…so please please accept my apology,” she added.
We accept! We really, truly do — and we’re excited that von Furstenberg is so passionate about keeping models healthy that she actually sat down and wrote an email. We’re also glad to know that she’s aware of what a real apology looks like.
Diane von Furstenberg Apologizes Over Model [WWD (Subscription Required)]