10-Year-Old Models: Kaia Gerber vs. Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau

Just months ago, 10-year-old French model Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau caused a world-wide stir over her controversial Vogue Paris editorial. The shoot featured the young model dressed in adult clothes, wearing heels and with full hair and makeup. The images became a sensation over night, causing much debate on the matter - what age is too young to model? The story on Front Row View caused a mixed reaction - comments in support of Thylane, and others bashing the photos for sexualizing the young model (see the article and comments here).

After that, came the Autumn/Winter 2011 campaigns, which also saw the use of relatively young models - 13-year-old Elle Fanning became the face of Marc by Marc Jacobs, while 14-year-old Hailee Steinfield was enlisted by Miu Miu for their campaign. Marc Jacobs also chose Elle's older sister Dakota, aged 17, to be the face of his 'Oh, Lola' scent - the ads were later banned for being "sexually provocative" in the U.K.

Less than a month ago, Cindy Crawford's daughter Kaia Gerber decided to follow in the footsteps of her famous mother, launching her career as a model: she is also aged 10, the same age as Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau, but caused much less controversy. Kaia posed for the first ever 'Versace Young' campaign which is the Italian label's new childrenwear's line. In the photo she wears a mini-shirt, leather jacket and sandals. Perhaps the photograph isn't as obviously 'adult' as those taken of Thylane for Vogue Paris, but for some reason, not many raised their concerns over her well being, when so many were upset by the images of Thylane.

Of course Kaia and Thylane weren't the first young models. Milla Jovovich was scouted at the age of 11, and signed her first contract at the age of 13, and she has somehow managed to navigate the world of fashion rather successfully, also launching a career as an actress in the process. Is Milla definitive proof that it's ok to start young? Probably not, but she does prove it can be done.

In an industry that craves youth, what age is too young to enter it?

Left: Kaia Gerber, Right: Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau
Milla Jovovich, aged 12

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