Diane von Furstenberg & Michael Kors Comment on Underage Models

 President of CFDA, New York-based designer Diane Von Furstenberg wants to ensure that for the upcoming New York Fashion Week, there are no underage models on the catwalk. Last season, Diane made a slip-up when she spoke on not employing any models under the age of 16, only finding out after that 15-year-old model Hailey Clauson walked at her show - she subsequently apologized and now she's continuing to work towards her goal to stop underagers taking part. 

Her new plan involves asking each model for a valid ID to prove their age before they enter the backstage area, ensuring that no young models can slip through the net. In a letter sent out by Diane, it said that this will be implimented just for her show, but others are encouraged to follow suit: “The casting agents for the Diane von Furstenberg show will be doing this and we encourage others to do the same.”

Hailey Clauson at the DVF A/W 2011 show
Michael Kors has also spoken on underage models in the current issue of Interview magazine. Michael, who has also banned underage models from his catwalk presentation, spoke on young models who he describes as "blank beauty":  "I still think it’s weird when models come in on go-sees. I don’t understand how anyone can think that a model is a mannequin. I like to think of them as just women ... When they come in, I’m always like, 'Where are you from? Tell me about your life.' That’s the first thing I say." 

He continues:  "We were laughing, though, because two seasons ago, I said, 'You know what? These girls we’re seeing are too young. They are children.' It’s silly ... I said two years ago, 'No models under 16.' Well, of course, right after I said that, we started seeing all of these girls from Eastern Europe, and every girl who’d walk in, you’d say, 'Hi. What’s your name?' And she’d be like, 'I’m Svetlana.' I’m like, 'Svetlana, where are you from?' 'Ukraine.' 'Svetlana, how old are you?' '16.' Next girl walks in — she’s from Eastern Europe and 16. Next one? Eastern European and 16. I was like, 'Was there a bus?' But I still think it’s a tricky thing because no matter how beautiful you might be at 15 or 16, the simple truth is that you haven’t lived enough to really know how to project anything in a photograph. It’s like a kind of blank beauty."

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