, This British Fashion Label Will Require Models To Eat During Shoots,
After some troubling incidents on-set, British clothing company Rose & Willard is requiring models at future shoots to join their cast and crew for lunch.
In an essay for the Huffington Post UK, company founder Heidy Rehman explained her reasons for this decision. She wrote that she was influenced by a model who “became delirious and started talking gibberish” after refusing food during a test shoot, and was disturbed to learn that a group of pre-teen models told her at a casting that every single one of them felt pressure to lose weight.
The Rose & Willard staff was devastated by models’ comments about their relationship with food.
Rehman wrote that when the models refused to eat on set, the staff was “told on each occasion by the models that they were due to attend castings for catwalk shows and were thus ‘watching their weight’. One even said that she ‘couldn’t afford to eat’. It’s heartbreaking to hear a young woman say such a thing.” Rehman also noted that she’d also been told stories of models eating tissues to avoid their stomach grumbling during a shoot.
A photo posted by Rose & Willard (@roseandwillard) on Jan 12, 2016 at 4:27am PST
From now on, the company will ask its models to sign a contract promising to eat in front of the staff.
“We will not allow her to only eat a tiny morsel or suggest she’ll eat later. The consequence of non-compliance will be that neither she nor her agency will be paid,” Rehman wrote. “Yes, it’s a form of nannying but we feel we have a responsibility to protect these young women from an industry which we believe can leave them exploited and puts them under pressure to starve themselves and damage their health and wellbeing.”
A photo posted by Rose & Willard (@roseandwillard) on Jan 12, 2016 at 4:24am PST
Critics have expressed concern about the practice, but Rose & Willard feels it’s the right thing to do.
France passed legislation in December requiring models to pass medical exams in an attempt to protect them from eating disorders and other health issues. There’s talk in the UK of banning models under 18 from working on the catwalk. Rose & Willard insists that this is the company’s way of doing their part in joining the fight, because the best way for the fashion industry to end unhealthy practices is through self-regulation.
“Please note that we are not at all intending to impose draconian measures on any models,” a Rose & Willard employee told Mashable. “We have never stated and have no intention of ‘standing over a model and forcing them to eat’…Rather the models who shoot with us will join us at lunch in an informal and friendly social setting. It need only be a small, simple meal or it can be a pizza—whatever they choose to eat will be the model’s choice. Alternatively she can choose not to sign our contract and not work with us again.”
Free lunch? Sounds good to us!
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