Models and eating disorders seem to go together. Sure, there are models who are very healthy and fit. But let’s face it, the modeling industry is a haven of inspiration for people who are constantly seeking “thinspiration” to reach an unhealthy goal weight.
So yes, we do expect the models on the runway to be very thin. Haute couture pieces have always come down the runway on thin models who look too frail to even touch. But now, things are changing in a good way.
Two of the most powerful fashion companies in the world are banning underweight models from their runway shows. The two companies are Kering and LVMH. The latter are the powerhouses behind designer brands like Gucci and Christian Dior.
This is a significant step. Not only because the firms are saying no to unhealthy weight goals but also because it’s the people behind houses like Dior and Gucci who are doing this. This is not just some random designer.
Design houses like Dior and Gucci have power. They have an established name and people who are devout followers. In saying no to underweight models, these powerhouses could be setting a great example for other houses and designers to take the same approach.
The people behind LVMH and Kering have made this decision after much criticism towards the fashion industry. Mainly, critics blame such houses for using underweight models for their clothes. In doing so, they were suggesting that women have to reach unhealthy weight numbers to wear such beautiful clothing.
To reach underweight status, it often means ending up with an eating disorder. It’s not just the women watching the shows either. Models too had to take unhealthy measures to be underweight and fit the clothing.
The new policy will also ensure that the model hired is healthy. The latter must present a medical certificate that is not older than six months before walking down the runway. Hiring for photo shoots will also have the same process.
One of the Board of Directors at LVMH, Antoine Arnault, spoke about this decision. He said, “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. The well-being of models is of great importance to us.”
Arnault added, “As the leader in the luxury sector, we believe it is our role to be at the forefront of this initiative. We have the responsibility of building new standards for fashion and we hope to be followed by other players in our sector.” New standards indeed! Let’s hope others take a note from these fashion brands.