French fashion house vows to stop using underage models

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The French luxury group which owns brands including Gucci and Louis Vuitton said on Wednesday that it would only hire models aged 18 and over “to represent adults” from 2020.

“We are conscious of the influence exerted on younger generations in particular by the images produced by our houses,” chairman and chief executive Francois-Henri Pinault said in a statement.

“We believe that we have a responsibility to put forward the best possible practices in the luxury sector and we hope to create a movement that will encourage others to follow suit,” he added.

Fashion house chief Francois-Henri Pinault with his wife Salma Hayek. Photo: AP

The policy is to take effect in time for the 2020-2021 fall/winter collections Kering said.

“The physiological and psychological maturity of models aged over 18 seems more appropriate to the rhythm and demands that are involved in this profession,” the group’s chief sustainability officer Marie-Claire Daveu said.

In 2017, Kering, which owns brands that include Gucci, Saint Laurent and Brioni adopted along with rival LVMH, which owns Louis Vuitton and Dior, a charter on working relations that introduced a minimum age of 16 and other practices such as not requiring ultra-thin models.

The fashion sector has begun to address the issue of how models are treated and what is expected of them, in part following the October 2017 death in China of a 14-year-old Russian model who reportedly lacked health insurance.

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