Some of the world’s major fashion lables has pledged to ban ultra-thin models from their advertising campaigns and catwalk shows following criticism that the industry encourage seating disorders.
Brands from Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior to Gucci and Marc Jacobs will no longer hire female models smaller than a size 34 – a UK size 8.
French holding companies LVMH and Kering, which own dozens of top brands between them, unveiled a charter ‘to ensure the well-being of models’ on Wednesday.
Big step: Several major fashion labels, including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Gucci and Marc Jacobs will no longer use female models smaller than a UK size 8
Their new ‘charter’ will also outlaw the hiring of girls under the age of 16 for adult shoots or events.
LVMH is a luxury goods behemoth that owns classic French brands Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Givenchy as well as other high-end European names including Fendi and Marc Jacobs, while Kering owns Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen and Saint Laurent among others.
In May, a French law requiring models to present a doctor’s certificate attesting to their good health was introduced to try to tackle the problem of the industry promoting thinness and unattainable beauty ideals.
The two French groups said they wanted to go beyond this requirement and would only use female models who were size 34 or over according to the French system, and men sized 44 or over.
Size 32 in France corresponds to the infamous U.S. size 0 – XXS or a UK size 6.
No more size 0: The fashion industry has long been accused of promoting eating disorders such as anorexia by showcasing very thin women
Charter for change: The change was announced by Kering’s François-Henri Pinault, pictured here with his wife, actress Salma Hyek
‘Respecting the dignity of all women has always been both a personal commitment for me and a priority for Kering as a group,’ the company’s billionaire chairman François-Henri Pinault said in a statement.
‘We hope to inspire the entire industry to follow suit, thus making a real difference in the working conditions of fashion models industry-wide,’ Pinault, who is married to actress Salma Hayek added.
Walk off: As well as UK size 6 models, no teenagers under 16 will be allowed to work for the brands’ adult campaigns
As well as the age and size stipulations, the charter includes other measures such as banning the serving of alcohol to models under 18 and ensuring they have a guardian or chaperone present at all times.
‘As the leader in the luxury sector, we believe it is our role to be at the forefront of this initiative,’ said Antoine Arnault, a board member of LVMH and son of owner Bernard Arnault, in a statement.
‘We have the responsibility of building new standards for fashion and we hope to be followed by other players in our sector,’ he added.
Speaking to AFP, Arnault explained that some unnamed designers worked with UK size 6 models.
‘That’s finished now, the size will be 34 [UK size 8] and above, which is already quite small,’ he said.
In 2015, Saint Laurent had to withdraw a magazine advertisement in Britain over its use of of an ‘unhealthily thin model’ and earlier this year, it caused outrage with a poster campaign around Paris.
In those pictures, a reclining woman in a fur coat and fishnet tights was pictured opening her legs, while another extremely thin model was photographed in a leotard and roller skate stilettos bending over a stool.
The head of the French advertising authority said they were part of a disturbing trend in fashion promoting ‘porno-chic’ and the label was ordered to remove them.