Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 17 September 2019

Gucci, Alexander McQueen and Saint Laurent to stop using models under the age of 18

French luxury group Kering says it hopes the industry will follow suit

Models walking the runway during the Gucci Cruise fashion show at the Cloisters of Westminster Abbey  (Courtesy: Gucci) 
Models walking the runway during the Gucci Cruise fashion show at the Cloisters of Westminster Abbey  (Courtesy: Gucci) 

Some of the world’s leading fashion houses have pledged to stop working with models who are under the age of 18.

Gucci, Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen are among the brands owned by French luxury group Kering, which will impose new guidelines from 2020 ensuring all models it works with are 18 or over.

The ban will apply to both campaigns and fashion shows, the company’s chief executive Francois-Henri Pinault said.

“As a global Luxury group, we are conscious of the influence exerted on younger generations in particular by the images produced by our Houses,” Pinault said. “We believe that we have a responsibility to put forward the best possible practices in the Luxury sector and we hope to create a movement that will encourage others to follow suit."

MILAN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 20: Kaia Gerber walks the runway at the Max Mara show during Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019 on September 20, 2018 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Jacopo Raule/Getty Images)
Top model Kaia Gerber is just 17 (Photo by Jacopo Raule/Getty Images)

The age of models has been an ongoing source of controversy in the fashion industry, with a joint charter published in 2017 by Kering and LVMH – the group which owns Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Givenchy – setting the age limit of models to 16.

The move was introduced in an attempt to safeguard the health and wellbeing of young models within the industry. But it is hoped the new measures from Kering will go even further to promote that.

“In our view, the physiological and psychological maturity of models aged over 18 seems more appropriate to the rhythm and demands that are involved in this profession," said Marie-Claire Daveu, chief sustainability officer and head of international institutional affairs at Kering.

"We are also aware of the role-model element that images produced by our Houses can represent for certain groups of people."

Updated: May 17, 2019 05:10 PM