Two major French fashion conglomerates, Kering and LVMH, have pledged to ban ultra-thin models from their advertising campaigns and catwalk shows following criticism the fashion industry encourages anorexia and eating disorders.
LVMH 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.
They have unveiled a charter “to ensure the well-being of models”, which will also ban the use of girls under the age of 16 for photoshoots or fashion shows where they’d be representing adults. The two fashion giants will also ban their designers using size 32 models under the French system – size XXS or size zero in the US or four in Britain. The charter also bans serving alcohol to models under 18; it further stipulates they require a guardian or chaperone present at all times.
Earlier this year, France banned the use of unhealthily thin models as part of a new law targeting “unrealistic body images” and eating disorders. Models are now required to provide a doctor’s certificate attesting to their overall health and proving their body mass index (BMI) sits within a healthy range in order to work. Fashion agencies face fines of up to €75,000 or imprisonment of up to six months if they breach the law.
CEO of Kering, François-Henri Pinault, has stated that their reason to bring a change was to better the conditions under which the models work and to better the practices of the fashion industry. Pinault added the company would like to move quickly and react strongly so that things really change:
“Respecting the dignity of all women has always been both a personal commitment for me and a priority for Kering as a group. We hope to inspire the entire industry to follow suit, thus making a real difference in the working conditions of fashion models industry-wide.”