Marc Jacobs Doesn’t Pay His Models

March 6, 2012 • Bad Judgement, Designers, Fashion Blog, Industry

We already got bad news about one famous designer this morning… please don’t say that this is true too.

There is a big situation going around that it has just come to light that Marc Jacobs does not pay his models. According to the Council of Fashion Designers of America‘s model age guidelines (in which strangely enough, Jacobs is a huge advocator of), the organization also asks that designers who hire minor models under the age of 18 not keep those girls working past midnight. According to 17 year old model Hailey Hasbrook, who worked over 30 unpaid hours for Jacobs during New York fashion week, the designer violated that stipulation, in addition to not paying her a monetary amount.

The story is that Hasbrook worked from 6 PM to 2 AM and then the next day until 4:30 AM, in which she still had a call time for Theyskens’ Theory at 8 AM. In all, Hasbrook was not paid 23 hours of doing looks and 6-8 for just doing shows. Technically, Hasbrook was not paid for modeling because her company Elite debited her “future earnings” from her account in advance.  Hasbrook stated that for the Jacobs job, she received “trade, not cash”. The “trade” she received was a Marc Jacobs bag, dress, jacket and shoes.

Due to schooling, there becomes a conflict between the long hours and attending a somewhat normal school schedule. This is why the CFDA recommends that girls under 16 not work fashion week. Models are considered independent contractors under U.S. law, which means that many basic provisions of employment law do not apply to them. In France, models are considered employees and Jacobs pays his models because it’s the law and he has to. Not to mention the fact that Hasbrook is not really making money for her modeling job. As the saying goes, “clothes can’t pay the rent”.

Jacobs responded to Hasbrook’s claims via Twitter, stating “Models are paid in trade [clothing]. If they don’t want to work w/ us, they don’t have to.” Funny statement coming from the one of the world’s highest paid designers working for one of the biggest conglomerates. This is the same guy who turned down Dior because $10 million wasn’t enough money.

What do you think? Should Jacobs be paying his models like he does in Paris? Or because it’s a designer with such a huge following, models should be grateful for the job? And is Jacobs blase (almost jerkish) response a sign that these girls need better regulations to protect them from being taken advantage of?

– Taneisha Jordan

Source: WWD; Tumblr; Twitter
Photos:; WWD

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