World's two biggest fashion firms drop underweight models from their shows

By Kalendra Withana

World-renowned fashion powerhouses LVMH and Kering have recently announced that they will refrain from using ‘super-skinny’ models for their catwalk shows. This declaration had escalated in response to criticism regarding the representation and treatment of young women in the fashion industry.


These two firms represent iconic brands such as Gucci, Christian Dior, Stella McCartney and Louis Vuitton. In compliance with this new change, both companies are planning on establishing a charter in order protect “the well-being of models”.

Key measures include the desire for models to be bigger than a French ‘size 32’. The firms have also insisted that models should present an up-to-date medical certificate to verify that they are in suitable health and therefore fit to work.

Other regulations include the banning of hiring models aged below 16, as well as the prohibition for 16 to 18 year-old models to work night shifts.
As for the young furthermore, it is now mandatory for the girls to be accompanied by a guardian and brands must also make sure that they are juggling their schools lives effectively in line with their work.

Moreover, the charter will also see models being allocated to an on-site therapist and psychologist during their participation in the industry.

The obligations come in line with France, who this year designated a law to ban underweight models in its country’s world of fashion.

Antoine Arnault, leading director of LVMH, has stated: “I am deeply committed to ensuring that the working relationship between LVMH Group brands, agencies and models goes beyond simply complying with the legal requirements."

François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and CEO of Kering, also said that he hopes the charter will make "a real difference in the working conditions of fashion models".

"Respecting the dignity of all women has always been both a personal commitment for me and a priority for Kering as a group," he also added.
In the past, various brands behind LVMH and Kering have been criticised by their treatment over models.

In May, Danish model Ulrikke Hoyer confessed that Louis Vuitton wanted her to starve herself in the run-up to a catwalk. The brand has however denied such an allegation.

Ulrikke Hoyer pictured above. Source - Skinny Gossip

As well as this, Kering’s Balenciaga this year had to fire two casting directors for leaving 150 models confined in a dark stairwell while the two officials went for lunch.


Iconic French brand. Source - Pinterest.

In addition, there have been allegations that social media has brought light as to how certain models are treated, with platforms such as Instagram glamorising the ‘iconic model look’.

The announcement made by LVMH and Kering has come at a pivotal time in the world of fashion, being said the day before the start of New York Fashion Week. Alongside this, London Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week are also set to start this month.

Sources – BBC News, Evening Standard, The Financial Times
Headline photo - Luxos

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