New York fashion week ended about two-weeks ago but there’s a group that works year-round to improve the working conditions of models on the runways and magazines–the majority of them who begin working between the ages of 13-16. The group Model Alliance aims to establish ethical standards that bring change to the fashion industry as a whole.
New York Fashion Week this February was the most diverse in ages. “Models of color finally topped 20% of the models booked for fashion week shows,” wrote Jenna Sauers on Jezebel.com, who’s been tracking diversity at Fashion Week for the last eight seasons. (Designers of color at Fashion Week still have a long way to go–out of 127 designers who presented only 2 were black.)
According to Jezebel, the largest single ethnic category, after whites, was Asians. Asian models were used for 8.8% of the time. Black models were at 8%. Non-white Latina models were used 2.4% of the time.
But as diversity on the runway increases so is the need for the rights of those models.
Model Alliance’s goals include: providing affordable health care for models, greater financial transparency, ensure that existing child labor laws are enforced and establishing a grievance and enforcement system for issues of sexual harassment.