In a bid to end eating disorders on the runway, some of fashion’s most powerful houses are banning the use of ultra thin models.
As Fashion Week kicked off in New York, LVMH (which owns labels like Louis Vuitton, Givenchy and Celine) and Kering Group (Gucci, Bottega Veneta) announced that they would no longer book underweight models to walk in its shows or star in its campaigns. The two companies have defined “underweight” as below French size 34 (and 44 for men), which is equivalent to a size zero by North American standards.
It’s a powerful statement made by influential industry leaders, for sure, but it’s not the first time the fashion world has attempted to curb criticism for promoting unrealistic body goals.
In 2015, the French government passed a law that required working models to provide a note from a medical practitioner verifying their weight was in fact healthy, should their body size ever come into question. It was a first step with good intention, but one that hasn’t seemed to move the mark much.
“We hope to inspire the entire industry to follow suit, thus making a real difference in the working conditions of fashion models industry-wide,” Kering CEO Francois-Henri Pinault said in a press release.
Further to the weight ban, both LVMH and Kering will no longer book models under the age of 16 to present clothes marketed to adults. Because seriously, what 35-year-old wants to know what something would’ve looked like on them over a decade ago? No thank you.
The proposed changes will hopefully encourage current and future models to rethink their body shape, thus removing the pressure to turn to a eating disorder just to appease a fashion brand. It’s an industry that has been sick for awhile, but with bold statements like this, change is undoubtedly around the corner. Now that’s en vogue.