Kering to ban fashion houses from using “underage” models
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Kering to ban fashion houses from using “underage” models

French luxury giant Kering has announced that none of its fashion houses going forward will employ models below the age of eighteen. The company, which owns brands like Gucci, Saint Laurent, and Alexander McQueen, is being lauded by industry voices as a result, with many opining that the company could set a precedent that will impact the entire sector for the better.

Kering’s share price has appreciated by 17% so far this year

Kering Graph 4 June

Source: Yahoo Finance

Kering’s CEO, Francoise Henri-Pinault, said that the company was “conscious of the influence exerted on younger generations,” adding “We believe we have a responsibility to put forward the best possible practises in the luxury sector, and we hope to create a movement that will encourage others to follow suit.”

The company’s chief sustainability officer, Marie-Claire Daveu, also commented on the new policy, highlighting the impact it could have on models themselves: “The physiological and psychological maturity of models aged over 18 seems more appropriate to the rhythm and demands that are involved in this profession.”

Sara Ziff, founder of the campaign group Model Alliance, told the BBC that Kering’s announcement was “a positive step towards eliminating the intense pressure models currently face to maintain an adolescent physique and to go to extremes to lose weight.”

Teenage models have long been a fixture in the fashion industry, with household names like Naomi Campbell starting their careers at 16 or younger. But a light was shined on the dangers modelling could pose to impressionable young minds in October of 2017. Backstage at the Shanghai Fashion Week, 14-year old Vlada Dzyuba collapsed, was rushed to hospital, and died.

Kering, along with rival LVMH, responded by promising to only work with models over the age of sixteen. Other big names followed, such as Vogue Magazine, and the Council of Fashion Designers of America. The message is clear to consumers and industry partners alike: change is coming, and we’re leading it.

Disclosure

Dominion holds Kering in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.


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