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CFDA Panel Debates Minimum Age For Runway Models

First Posted: 04/13/2010 5:12 am Updated: 05/25/2011 3:30 pm

The Council of Fashion Designers of America's (CFDA) Health Initiative panel called "The Beauty of Health: Resizing the Sample Size," brought model Doutzen Kroes, designer Zac Posen, casting agent James Scully, Vogue's fashion director Tonne Goodman, beauty executive Aerin Lauder, and head of DNA Model Management David Bonnouvrier together to talk about the ever-shrinking size of the industry's sample garments. But it later evolved into a conversation about the age of beauties striking a pose, WWD reports.

Scully explained that during his last few days of casting, he's seen about 170 models and about 70 percent were 16 years old, too young to walk the runway.

"I am running out of girls to cast my shows with," he said. "I would like to see a minimum age of 18. I can't tell a girl who never even kissed a boy to go out on the runway and be sexy."

Posen talked about the difficulties translating runway designs into wearable options for the everyday woman. Lauder noted that if models are too young, her make-up customers won't identify with them. There are also the obvious health ramifications, with models burning out before their bodies are matured.

Although the evening ended without any major industry changes put into place, just having the discussion was a triumphant first step. Vogue Senior Editor (Health and Fitness) Abigail Walch said, "What I think is most striking is that the dialogue occurred here tonight. People are talking, and they're doing it openly and with such passion and candidness. I think we're moving in the right direction."

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Filed by Hilary Moss  |