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25-09-2012
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Vogue Breaks Their Underage Model Pledge
14-Year-Old Model Is a Major Violation of Vogue’s Age Pledge

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Just four months after announcing its commitment to end the practice of hiring models under the age of 16, Vogue magazine has violated its word — for a second time.

All 19 international editions of Vogue have pledged not to hire models under the age of 16; Garcia is just 14.

The latest model for whom Vogue ignored its own rules is 14-year-old Brazilian Thairine Garcia. Garcia, who will turn 15 this December, last week shot an editorial for Vogue Japan with photographer Sharif Hamza. (Hamza was the photographer responsible for Vogue Paris' infamous 2011 spread featuring child models dressed and made up to look like much older women.) Garcia's editorial is understood to be for Vogue Japan's December issue. Further details about the unpublished spread are not yet available.

American model Ondria Hardin, who is currently 15, was also shot by Vogue China for its August issue.

Following months of media scrutiny of the issue of underaged models in fashion and the conditions of their labor, Vogue magazine this May announced a new six-point pledge regarding the well-being of the models it hires. Point 1 was, "We will not knowingly work with models under the age of 16." Vogue further pledged to ask that agencies not send models under 16 to Vogue, and said that its casting directors would card prospective models just in case. Condé Nast, which publishes Vogue, announced the commitment would affect all 19 international editions of the magazine. In an unprecedented show of unity, the editors-in-chief of all of the world's Vogues posed together for a photograph to announce the new manifesto, which Vogue called its "Health Initiative."

15-year-old model Ondria Hardin appears in the August, 2012, issue of Vogue China, another example of Vogue violating its policy not to use underaged models.

The Vogue initiative marked the first time that any major publication had attempted to set an age limit for its models. Various fashion weeks around the world have set 16 as an age limit for runway work, with mixed success — New York's ban is regularly flouted, Paris' is strictly enforced — but in any case, fashion week is just a couple weeks out of the year. A lot of modeling work happens the rest of the time. There are many reasons why the mostly unregulated modeling industry can be an inappropriate working environment for a child (and why it's problematic for any 13-year-old to be working essentially full-time in any field). Given that the modeling industry's reliance on child labor has been linked to everything from financial exploitation, to interrupted or abandoned schooling, to eating disorders — not to mention that it contributes to an unrealistic beauty ideal for the adult women who are the main consumers of fashion's imagery — the prospect of a publication setting an age limit for print work was potentially revolutionary. If only it had been observed.

Garcia and Hardin have both been working regularly since they were just 13. Hardin was 13 when she shot the fall, 2011, Prada campaign and has worked extensively for clients all over the world, including the magazines W and Lula. Garcia has been on the cover of V magazine, and has shot an astounding 11 consecutive editorials — including two covers — of Brazilian Harper's Bazaar. Garcia appeared on the cover of Vogue Italia in April, just before Vogue announced its new commitment. This September, despite a voluntary ban on hiring models under 16 for runway work in New York promoted by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Hardin and Garcia each walked for seven designers. Brands who hired the two underaged models include Anna Sui, Marc Jacobs, Marchesa, Oscar de la Renta, Peter Som, Thakoon, Theyskens' Theory, and Yigal Azrouël.

Although Vogue technically announced it would not "knowingly" work with models under 16, Hardin and Garcia are two of the most high-profile (and successful) underaged models currently working. It seems hard to imagine that Vogue wouldn't know their true ages — even if its casting director didn't, as Vogue instructed, card the girls. How disappointing that Vogue's commitment to the health of its models should prove to be so short-lived.
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25-09-2012
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And regarding Ondria Hardin:

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Fashion bible Vogue has been accused of employing a model under the age of 16 in their magazine, breaking a pledge it made just four months ago to no longer do so.
Young American model Ondria Hardin has been featured in August's Vogue China in a group editorial photo.
But the rising star may have only been 15 at the time of the shoot, according to various sources.

Vogue pledged in May to stop using models aged under 16 for print work in all international editions, as part of a new Health Initiative.
But fashion news websites Fashionista and Jezebel have done some cunning calendar arithmetic and calculated that Hardin was possibly only 15 at the time of a group photo shoot featured in China's August edition.
Hardin, a South Carolina native, has been modeling since she was just 13, when Steven Meisel shot her for the fall 2011 Prada campaign.

Jezebel writes: 'That September, after turning 14, she walked at New York fashion week for designers including Marc Jacobs.
'In February, Hardin was reported to be 14. At the New York shows this September, when Hardin could have been no older than 15, she walked for seven designers, including Jacobs, Thakoon, Marchesa, and Oscar de la Renta. Just a couple hours ago in Milan she walked for Gucci.'

According to Hardin's agency, Ford, she is currently 16, but the company has not provided birth the models date.
At time of press both Ford and Vogue 's publisher Conde Nast had been contacted twice, but neither has yet provided a comment.
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25-09-2012
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I wish Vogue had followed their guidelines but I can't say I'm surprised they didn't.

The whole "knowingly" made the pledge pretty useless from the start cause they could always pretend they didn't know about the real age.

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25-09-2012
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oh but of course they did! who didn't see this coming a mile away? the fashion industry is such a joke sometimes i swear.

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26-09-2012
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sometimes ??? LOL

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26-09-2012
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hmm.. I thought it was only US Vogue compromising on that. They gotta go to Condé Nast if they want actual results.. and work with brands too, expose them, pressure them, create consequences, involve political parties, well-known media.. that's where the money's at, and everything works around that. The publications follow.. and then the agencies, who are honestly at the bottom in the pyramid of the hype and money-hungry.

I remember reading an article by Ashley Mears for The Economist some months ago. That's a good move, but not everyone reads the economist (thankfully?), they ought to make it even more mainstream and admittedly sensationalist in order to reach out average magazine readers and make it conventional in order to raise concerns and affect consumerism. It's going to take a while but I think that's a good route, fashion from within is deaf as its best and will continue to be if they don't make it face a strong enemy: politics.

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Last edited by MulletProof; 26-09-2012 at 04:14 PM.
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27-09-2012
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Vogue China Admits To Breaking Health Initiative With Underage Model

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When Vogue announced its international Health Initiative, there were many who scoffed. Sure, it's nice to say you support healthy, happy models. But when it actually comes to using models who are the appropriate size and age, how many magazines can walk the walk?

Apparently, not all of them. After some sleuthing, Fashionista found that one of the models featured in the August issue of Vogue China was Ondria Hardin. Hardin was one of the two underage models who walked the Marc Jacobs runway show last February, flouting the age guideline put forth by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). The CFDA's age guidelines match the Vogue Health Initiative's, stating that models must be 16 years old or up.

At the time of the Marc Jacobs show, Hardin was reportedly 14; when she posed for the recent Vogue China, she was 15, making Vogue China the second international edition of the mag to violate the Health Initiative after Vogue Japan, who shot 14-year-old Thairine Garcia just this month.

Vogue China has now apologized for casting Hardin, as editor-in-chief Angelica Cheung told Vogue UK, "It happened under our radar, and we are truly sorry. We will make sure it doesn't happen again."

Jonathan Newhouse, the head of Condé Nast International, added:

"The Health Initiative banning underage models is very serious, and we will reinforce it. I apologize for the error that took place in China. We will do everything possible to prevent future errors."
In other words, walking the walk is still more difficult than everyone imagined. But at least magazines are owning up to their errors -- knowing the media is hot on their tail might have done the trick.
huffington post

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