Diane Von Furstenberg Apologizes for Hiring a 15-Year-Old to Walk Her Show
Prior to New York Fashion Week, the CFDA releases a list of guidelines designers are encouraged to follow when working with models in an effort to keep the unhealthy ones off the runway. The tradition began in 2007 as a response to persistent public fright over how thin the girls look. In this season’s letter, CFDA president Diane Von Furstenberg suggested not hiring girls under the age of 16 to walk — and yet she discovered that a girl who turns 16 next month walked her show. Von Furstenberg responded by sending a letter to her colleagues apologizing for the gaffe.
One of the guidelines, as you know, is not to hire models under 16 in addition to making sure that all of them are properly fed.
Well, it is to my horror, that I discovered last Friday that in spite of me repeating that to my production and casting people, one girl slipped through the cracks. One girl who will be 16 in March walked my show last week!
I was horrified and terribly embarrassed. From now on I will instruct my casting people to demand ID’s. I encourage you to do the same.
Please accept my apology. I am trying to be a good leader and set an example…so please please accept my apology.
The model in question is Hailey Clauson, who debuted at New York Fashion Week in September 2010, when she walked the ADAM, Z Spoke by Zac Posen, and Calvin Klein shows. She went on to walk for Gucci, Versace, Christian Dior, Lanvin, Hermès, Miu Miu, and Louis Vuitton that season. She is currently a face of Gucci and DSquared2. So Von Furstenberg may be a bigwig but she has to convince plenty of her fellow bigwigs that they’re better off selling clothes with girls who are older than 16. But what’s really amazing is that ensuring that models are healthy and of a reasonable age to be doing their work is this hard for designers to enforce — and that it requires the distribution of so many guidelines.
New York MAG