We know that some models pursue dangerous measures in the hopes they will join the cadre of elites. We know that being a top model means million-dollar contracts and the key that unzips Leonardo DiCaprio’s pants. And we also know that many modeling agencies are all too happy to exploit preteen and teen girls, putting their sexual, mental and physical health at risk in pursuit of big bucks and prestige. Agencies get a cut of the money, after all. The 2012 documentary “Girl Model” (which is screening on Netflix now — go watch it!) pulled back the curtain on the lack of protections for underage models, especially ones who have traveled from faraway foreign countries, alone, don’t speak English or know their rights — like, say, you shouldn’t have to suck anyone’s dick to get a gig.
This week, New York’s state legislature took a step in the right direction by passing a bill that will give models under age 18 the same legal protections as child actors and other young performers. The laws would apply to both print and runway models. Keep reading »
Ever wonder why the models stomping down the runway at Fashion Week look nothing like you? Like, you’re so much bigger that one of those girls could easily wear you as a skin suit?
Well, many of the models you see in Fashion Week, in print catalogs, and on billboards are actually teenage girls. Sure, there are models like Agyness Deyn, Kate Moss, and Kate Upton who are in their 20s and 30s, but a lot of the models we are exposed to as representative as adult women’s bodies are tall, skinny, 15-year-olds. The fashion industry’s reason for hiring these young women? It’s partly a worship of youth and partly the problem that barely-pubescent girls are the only ones who can fit into sample sizes. Keep reading »
Greg Chait is the dude behind the menswear label The Elder Statesman, and he’s also the latest Council of Fashion Designers of America Vogue Fashion Fund winner. Chait’s label is just five years old, but he’s already gained a reputation for his comfortable, lived in style. Chait takes home the top prize of $300,000, while jewelry designer Jennifer Meyer Maguire (who is married to Tobey Maguire!) and shoe designer Tabitha Simmons were chosen as runners-up. All three will benefit from the fund’s mentoring program, and you can find designs by each semi-finalist on e-retail site The Corner. We’re not especially fans of Chait’s laid-back surfer style (I mean, he’s got a bunch of Baha hoodie drug rugs in his collection for Chrissakes!), but are pretty sure there’s a big market for what he does. [NYMag.com]
J. Crew creative director Jenna Lyons is one of our longtime much-agreed-upon style crushes. If we could all mix J. Crew with high fashion half as well as she does, the world would be a more colorful, impeccably dressed place. Bitch is magic. She also has some softly-spoken ties to the CFDA — it’s a fairly new tradition for each year’s CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winner creates a collaborative line with J. Crew, but it’s a damn good one we hope will continue — so it’s only natural that Ms. Lyons turned out for last night’s awards ceremony. Her signature masculine-feminine approach never fails (this is the woman who wore a white T-shirt over a ball gown to the Met Gala last year with aplomb) to make jaws drop, leaving everyone in the foreseeable radius wondering how she manages to be all at once preppy, chic, eccentric, and transcendentally can’t-put-your-finger-on-it cool. Or maybe that’s just me. (Solange ain’t half bad, either.)
The Council of Fashion Designers of America, better known as the CFDA, holds an awards ceremony each year to celebrate achievement in fashion design — the Oscars of the fashion set, if you will. Emerging a winner is a victory akin to Diane von Furstenberg (she’s the president of the Council) giving you a little tap on the head and saying, “You’ve made it.” The nature of the ceremony is to honor fresh and emerging talent, and while last night’s event also crowned winners (Tommy Hilfiger and Rei Kawakubo, respectively) for both Lifetime and International achievements, some of the victors are practically unheard of outside of the insider-y design realm. If you have an interest in high fashion, it behooves you to acquaint yourself with these up-and-coming game changers, because chances are they’ll be the next hot names to come up on the mainstream style radar… well, I guess they already are.
April is Earth Month, so naturally it’s the perfect opportunity for the fashion world (and, it goes without saying, the world over) to stand up and do what they can to take action. The latest venture into green comes from the CFDA and Vogue with Clean by Design, a new partnership with National Resources Defense Counsel. The council hosted a luncheon yesterday to announce the initiative, the premise of which could seem a bit strange — how does fashion directly impact the environment? Keep reading »