YSL, Gucci and More to Stop Hiring Underage Models

They're hoping to encourage others to follow suit.

Top model Kaia Gerber is just seventeen years of age. 

Fashion company Kering – a French luxury group owns several major fashion houses, including Gucci, Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen – has announced that it will no longer use models who are under the age of 18.

The move follows similar practices put in place in the industry, in wake of countless photographer allegations amidst the #MeToo era, to protect the sanctity and visibility of underage workers. 

Issues surrounding the hiring of underage workers also came to light following the death of 14-year-old Vlada Dzyuba who collapsed and died following a gruelling 12-hour fashion show in China

According to the group's spokesperson, the new policy will come into effect in time for the 2020-2021 Autumn/Winter collections.

Chief executive François Henri-Pinault said in a statement that the company was "conscious of the influence exerted on younger generations" by its images.

"We believe that we have a responsibility to put forward the best possible practices in the luxury sector, and we hope to create a movement that will encourage others to follow suit," he said.

Back in January, Condé Nast International issued a new Code of Conduct, effective immediately, to safeguard the dignity and well-being of all who work with its brands. The guidelines of which were rolled out to partners in all owned and operated markets stipulate that:

  • All models on set must be 18 years old. Where exceptions need to be made - such as when children are essential a story - they must be accompanied by an agency-provided chaperone.
  • Any shoot requiring nudity, sheer clothing, lingerie, swimwear, animals, simulated drug or alcohol use or sexually suggestive poses must be signed off in advance by the subject. No shoot participant may be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
  • A private dressing space must be provided to every subject on set. At all other times, subjects should not be left alone with a photographer, makeup artist or any other participant any time during a shoot.

In a similar vein, Vogue and the CFDA also decided they would no longer hire any models under the age of 18 to work during New York Fashion Week. 

"Young models are still developing," CFDA president and CEO Steven Kolb said. "There can be a lack of the confidence, strength, experience, and maturity it takes to deal with the pressures of this work."

Back in 2017, both Kering and a rival fashion group LVMH signed a charter agreeing to – among other things – cease the hiring models who were under the age of 16.

As well as this, fashion houses have also pledged not to hire extremely thin models, or promote the use of animal skins or fur in their designs. 

Main image by @kaiagerber

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