Over the past few years, CanadaFashionLaw has been following a grass roots movement within the modeling industry to set standards. There has been some serious traction but none more so than the adoption of legislation!
New York State has now passed legislation, which comes into effect November 20, that requires models under 16 years old to be recognized as ‘child performers’. This means that their employment will be better regulated. For example, the number of hours a child model can work is limited, also how late they can work will also be monitored. A trust fund must be created where 15% of the model’s gross earnings shall be paid. The employer must also provide for a nurse and on-site study spaces.
It is no surprise that this will have a trickle down effect as to which models will be used on the catwalk and in advertisements. Perhaps we will see less 14 year old models portraying women, which will contribute to a more healthy image for consumers.
Although there are financial penalties available for those employers not abiding by the legislation, the greatest harm will be the PR back lash for infractions, especially in light of the fashion industry’s increasing sensitivity to human rights issues brought on by the Bangladesh travesty.