Model Sara Ziff is working to establish The Model Alliance, "to give models a voice in the workplace and to organize for better working conditions," WWD reports. Ziff's enlisted a slew of advisers out of Fordham University's Fashion Law Institute to come up with a code of conduct and standards for the modeling industry, but models haven't started signing up yet to join.
"The modeling industry is essentially unregulated. As independent contractors, models don't have the same basic workplace protection as a lot of other industries do. They don't have workmen's compensation. They often don't have access to affordable health coverage. There are no provisions for rest and meal breaks [during work hours]. There is little recourse for issues of sexual harassment and sexual abuse. And a lot of modeling agencies have a huge amount of power over international girls because they sponsor their visas."
Earlier this year, Ziff released her film "Picture Me," which chronicles all of the difficulties models face. She also partnered on a three-part mini-series with The Cut -- the final segment was particularly compelling. We posted it back in September and we'll repost it here.
In it, model Amy Lemons explains to Ziff that when she was 17 years old, her agent told her to "eat one rice cake a day and if that didn't work only half a rice cake," and she's seen young girls dipping cotton balls in juice and eating them. Lemons added, "there are no rules or regulations...it's still like the Wild Wild West," and remarked that, "the CFDA needs to do a lot more than what their doing right now."