French fashion giants move to ban super-skinny models

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Two French conglomerates behind some of the world’s biggest fashion brands, including Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and Christian Dior, pledged Wednesday to ban super-skinny models in response to repeated criticism.

The companies, LVMH and Kering, said they had agreed on a charter for the well-being of their models. The charter establishes a set of standards which the companies say will be applied across all of their fashion brands worldwide.

Both groups have committed to ban female models below French size 34 and male models below French size 44. Size 32 in France correspondents to a size zero in the United States and a size six in the United Kingdom.

Models will also be required to present a valid medical certificate to attest to their good health and ability to work. Such certificates must be obtained less than six months before a shooting or fashion show, the companies said.

In addition to size requirements, both groups said they will no longer hire models below to age of 16 to take part in shows or shoots to represent an adult. Those between 16 and 18 will be required to work in the presence of a chaperon or guardian and agencies must ensure they continue to attend school.

Wednesday’s announcement followed years of criticism from activists who said the use of supper-skinny models encouraged anorexia and mistreatment. France passed a law earlier this year which requires models to present a health certificate, but the conglomerates say their charter goes even further.

“Respecting the dignity of all women has always been both a personal commitment for me and a priority for Kering as a Group,” said Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault. “We hope to inspire the entire industry to follow suit, thus making a real difference in the working conditions of fashion models industry-wide.”

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