New York Might Finally Act to Protect Child Models from Exploitation


New York just took a step that could have a huge impact on the American fashion industry and on the well-being of the many models who start their careers in their young teens. State senators Diane Savino and Jeff Klein have introduced legislation that would extend to child models the laws that already protect child actors and other child performers from exploitation. The Model Alliance worked with the senators on the bill. Coco Rocha was among the former child models who spoke at a press conference announcing the legislation yesterday. Pointing to the pressure on young models to abandon education and the risk of exploitation, Rocha said:

I was scouted at the ripe old age of 14. By the time I was 16 I was living and working alone here in New York City. During my 10 years as a model I’m fortunate enough to have realized many of my professional goals, though not without feeling enormous pressure to agree to demands and make certain choices that no young person should ever have to deal with.”

The law, if passed, would simply add models to the list of child performers — actors, dancers, musicians, etc — who are covered by laws protecting their earnings, educational opportunities, and well-being. Although the change under consideration is only to New York state law, given that New York City is by far the biggest market for the U.S. modeling industry, and is one of the industry’s four global headquarters, this legislation, if passed, could have far-reaching effects on the industry as a whole. It’s not known why models were ever excluded from the laws that protect other child performers; many models start working internationally in their early teens, and these adolescents have — until now — had to face the industry’s pressures essentially alone.

The bill must be voted on before the end of the current legislative session in order to become law. New York state residents can contact their representatives to find out if they support the child models legislation here. (Full disclosure, yada yada yada.) [Coco Rocha, Vogue UK]

Karl Lagerfeld was “very rude” about Audrey Tautou in an interview, over the objections of his press team. The matter under consideration was Tautou’s performance in the 2009 Chanel biopic, Coco Avant Chanel. Lagerfeld didn’t like the movie much:

“Oh, the movie was bad. She played it like women’s lib, like Simone de Beauvoir 30 years before The Second Sex. No, no, no, no. Chanel was a different kind of woman.”

The designer preferred Keira Knightley in this. We’re just surprised the designer managed to keep a contrary opinion to himself for almost four years. Also, he had this to say about his working habits and the danger of nostalgia:

“If you think it was better before, you make of your present a second-rate stuff,” says Lagerfeld. “The brain is a muscle and the more you do, the better it is. I don’t believe in endless vacation, waiting for inspiration. No, I work for the garbage can.”
“I don’t do research. I know everything that has happened. I know for 30 years, my dear. I have a very good memory for the unnecessary thing.”


• There’s a whole nest of rumors about Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Coach, and Nicolas Ghesquière in the headlines this morning. Let’s dive in! Jacobs’ contract at Louis Vuitton ends in 2014, and while the brand has performed well sales-wise during his tenure, the designer and the company may not renew. Ghesquière, the former Balenciaga designer, is understood to be in negotiations for the Louis Vuitton job. (Ghesquière has been seen with executives from Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, Louis Vuitton’s parent company, since his position with competing luxury conglomerate Kering abruptly ended last fall.) Jacobs, meanwhile, is said to be a contender for the top job at Coach, which will be minus a creative director once Reed Krakoff steps down. Also? As part of Jacobs’ negotiations with LVMH, the conglomerate may take the Marc Jacobs brand public. We’ve heard from a source close to Ghesquière that the designer is indeed negotiating with LVMH for the Louis Vuitton job, and apparently Fashionista heard the same from its sources. [WWD, Fashionista]

Oscar de la Renta: “I want to dress everyone — who can afford my clothes.” [Fashionista]

Mulberry designer Emma Hill is leaving the brand after six years, “following disagreements with management over creative and operational strategy,” in Women’s Wear Daily’s phrasing. It’s not known who will present the company’s spring collection this September in London. [WWD]

• As more shoppers engage in “showrooming” — the practice of visiting a store to try on a garment of accessory before searching for it cheaper online — stores are mulling policies to combat it. Under consideration are charging try-on fees, and offering price-matching. Target already has a policy of matching Amazon‘s prices in its stores. [Racked]

Naomi Campbell and Vladimir Doronin proxy-fighting via anonymous sources in Page Six has to be the aspect of their breakup that, late at night when they’re finally alone, depresses each of them the most, right? [P6]

Burberry‘s Angela Ahrendts is the highest-paid C.E.O. in the U.K. Last year, she took home £16.9 million. It is the first time in U.K. history that the country’s best-paid C.E.O. has been female. [Guardian]

Jason Wu has been named the new creative director of Hugo Boss women’s wear. [WWD]

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