London Adds Min. Age And Mandatory Pay For Models

Depending on who you talk to, deregulation in business can be a good or bad thing. But in the largely unregulated business of making Fashion Week happen, a few new rules to protect models working during the hectic fashion shows might actually be necessary.

That was the mentality behind a new set of recommendations presented today by Equity, a British performers’ trade union. The organization has been hard at work for a few years developing its first union agreement for models participating in London Fashion Week. The rules go something like this:

• A minimum rate of pay per show for emerging designers.
• Fees for fitting sessions.
• Photographs and footage of shows to be used for reporting/editorial purposes only.
• A minimum break during each show.
• Food and drink to be provided backstage at each show.
• Reasonable working temperature during shows.
• Privacy for models in the changing area.
• No models under 16 years of age.
• Models must be told in advance of any requirements for nudity or semi-nudity.
• Transport to be provided for late/early working sessions.
• Model’s employers are responsible for all aspects of health and safety and will undertake risk assessments.

Other Fashion Week guidelines have been set up, but none quite so comprehensive. The body mass index rules for Madrid Fashion Week, for example, only asked that models have a BMI of no less than 18. The union agreement that governs stagehands at New York Fashion Week makes sure that the stagehands, and not the models, get good pay and are ensured work. As Jezebel reported at the beginning of the week, some models here in New York don’t even get paid.

London Fashion Week is a big deal, but certainly not the biggest on the calendar of international Fashion Weeks for American editors. Still, we have an inkling that it won’t be too long before the London rules make their way across the pond.

[Via HuffPo Style]

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