Guess it's time to regulate the modeling industry. I mean who wants to look at anorexic and abused models? The poor things. Mere months after appearing in and making the documentary on the ugly underbelly of the modeling industry in America “Picture Me,” model Sara Ziff is on a mission for regulation.
She wants to form The Model Alliance, a professional organization for models in the U.S. early next year. The objective? To give models a voice in the workplace and to organize for better working conditions. Along with a consortium of advisers from Fordham University’s Fashion Law Institute, Ziff is drafting a code of conduct and industry standards.
“The modeling industry is essentially unregulated,” Ziff said in an interview with WWD. “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.”
Ziff, a Columbia University senior who is studying American politics, said she has cut back her runway work to focus on getting The Model Alliance off the ground. A Web site is in development to help spread the word about what she expects to be a nonprofit organization.
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