The British Fashion Council, the non-profit organization that aims to support fledgling designers and promote British fashion worldwide, has announced that it's teaming up with the Fashion Model Agency Association on a new initiative to end the mistreatment of models.
With The Models First Initiative, both organizations will work together to come up with a guideline for appropriate work practices to which the industry can adhere to, as well as help models negotiate visa terms so that they can work in the country post-Brexit. The project follows the BFC's Positive Fashion principles, a pledge of sorts to encourage positive growth within the industry.
“[The FMAA] understood the need to develop an independent committee that will challenge agencies, as well as industry norms, to ensure that models are treated with the same respect and care as all employees in the industry,” BFA chief executive officer Caroline Rush said. "There is no better time for the industry to work together to stamp out any form of maltreatment or abuse."
The launch of the initiative signals that the changes in consciousness we've seen this year in the entertainment industries will not disappear as some well-meaning trend of 2017. Just this year, Kering and LVMH banned the use of size-zero models on the runway and in photo shoots, to promote positive body health. After all of the shocking and brave testimonials that have surfaced this year, those working in the industry want to see real change. And while it's long overdue — the fact that we don't have best practice guidelines for how to treat models already is hard to swallow — it's an important start.