Ford Agency Disregards CFDA Guidelines, Pushes Underage Models

Ondria Hardin in Marc Jacobs spring 2012 show.

Just last week, Diane von Furstenberg and the Council of Fashion Designers of America sent out the guidelines for this year’s health initiative, reiterating that no one under 16 will be allowed on the New York runways, and models who are noticeably unhealthy should be dismissed. At least a dozen agencies have signed their agreement — but not Ford.

After the New York Times published a piece noting that Ford represents “at least two models who are under 16 in its portfolio for runway shows this season,” the agency released a statement arguing that they never agreed to follow that guideline in the first place.

A spokesman for Ford released a statement on Wednesday, after the article was published online, saying that, “While we agree with many of the guidelines the C.F.D.A. is working towards, we did not sign on with this particular initiative.”

The statement goes on to say, “We are sorry for the confusion and apologize for not clearing it up right away when it was announced. We take the age and maturity of our models very seriously. We work on a case-by-case basis alongside a prospective model’s parents to make a determination as to whether they are ready to walk the runway. In most cases, the answer is no. But a select few demonstrate the know-how and maturity that are necessary to work earlier than they otherwise would.”

“We have always played a leadership role in protecting the health and wellness of models, and will continue to do so.”

Ford’s underage roster includes Ondria Hardin (who walked for Marc Jacobs last season) and, reportedly, Kremi Otashliyska. Now it will be interesting to see who casts them.


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