Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Big changes for teen models in the New York fashion industry

Elle Fanning at 12, 2010 (Steven Pan/Interview, via MTV)
According to Buzzfeed's Amy Odell, there are big changes afoot for New York's fashion industry:
...new legislation proposed by Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein and State Senate Labor Committee Chairwoman Diane Savino, seeks to close the loophole that excludes print and runway models from the same protections as all other child performers. ... Expanding the definition of child performers to include print and runway models would require young models to have chaperones on set, ensure a portion of their earnings goes into a financial trust, and ensure they don’t miss too much school for work.
Seems like ordinary decency to me, but apparently print and runway models in the state have not been protected by strong labour laws — leading to economic and even sexual exploitation.

Here is more, from The Cut:
Other requirements for employing children under 18: If they miss over three days of school, their employer must provide a tutor and space for them to study. Children under 16 must be accompanied by a chaperone. Can you imagine desks and parents backstage at fashion shows? It sounds unlikely, and enforcement might be tricky, especially since models are commonly considered "independent contractors" rather than employees. But establishing some basic rights for these kids — because they are, in fact, children — should be a priority. The bill could pass as early as next week, posing complications for modeling agencies. Alternatively, they could just cast models over 18, which really wouldn't be so bad.
No, it wouldn't. Let teen models model teen clothing to teens, and let adult women do the adult modelling. Then maybe 20-something fashion victims could stop starving themselves to match the way their clothes hang on pubescent models.

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