Fashion is slowly making strides to shift the industry's longtime mistreatment of models, and change is reportedly starting from backstage.
This New York Fashion Week, models will be blessed with their own changing areas to ensure ultimate comfort — apparently in response to models' complaints of invasiveness. The CFDA and Model Alliance worked with model agency IMG and NYFW show venue Pier59 Studios to implement the changes; there will also be signs posted backstage to encourage a safe working environment.
"Models have raised concerns about invasive photography and lack of privacy while changing clothes backstage at New York Fashion Week," Sara Ziff, founder of the Model Alliance, said in a statement. "The Model Alliance takes these concerns seriously and we decided to take additional steps this season to ensure a safe and respectful work environment by providing private changing areas backstage."
Models banded together last year to protest heinous casting conditions on Instagram, which resulted in Balenciaga firing its casting agents. The news came only several months before fashion favorites Mario Testino and Bruce Weber were accused of rampant abuse of male models in the New York Times, prompting Condé Nast to denounce the two. The publishing company also released a statement claiming they would no longer work with infamous photographer Terry Richardson — a significant step in the right direction.
Perhaps now models who aren't blessed with famous families might be restored a degree of power, instead of previous treatment by designers as walking coat hangers.
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