09/15/2010 02:33 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

London Fashion Week Sets Minimum Age & Working Conditions

British trade union Equity has developed a set of guidelines to ensure "safe and healthy working conditions" for those walking at London Fashion Week, including age restrictions and advance notice of nudity requirements. The guidelines have been signed off on by the Association of Model Agents, the British Fashion Council, and the Greater London Authority. According to an Equity press release, the groups agreed upon:

  • A minimum rate of pay per show for emerging designers.
  • Fees for fitting sessions.
  • Photographs and footage of shows to be used for reporting/editorial purposes only.
  • A minimum break during each show.
  • Food and drink to be provided backstage at each show.
  • Reasonable working temperature during shows.
  • Privacy for models in the changing area.
  • No models under 16 years of age.
  • Models must be told in advance of any requirements for nudity or semi-nudity.
  • Transport to be provided for late/early working sessions.
  • Model's employers are responsible for all aspects of health and safety and will undertake risk assessments.

Speaking with Vogue UK, Equity General Secretary Christine Payne called the agreement "a major achievement for models" and models' organizer Hilary Hadley said it provides the women "with a much needed collective voice."

UK's weighed in on the new regulations, writing:

This new contract marks the beginning of the end for a self-regulated industry. In an environment where models are the lowest in the pecking order and are expected to work without complaint in the hope of becoming one of the lucky ones and making good money, the new Equity Committee provides support, legal assistance and new regulations to make what should be an enjoyable and profitable career safer and more in line with modern employment practices.

Fashion Week moves to London on Friday.