For many years, British models like Erin O'Connor have been fighting for models rights. The work they do is generally unregulated with no set pay rates, unfair pressures and no official safety standards. Well, all that is about to change as the trade union Equity has established the first ever London Fashion Week Model Programme.
This employment contract agrees minimum rates of pay annually for the fashion showcase, a minimum age of 16, guidelines for working conditions and health and safety standards. Models Dunja Knezevic and Victoria Keon-Cohen were the first to approach the trade union and are now the chair and vice chair on the Models Committee.
Keon-Cohen explained, "We started the Models Union after working internationally and our frustration mounted because of the inconsistencies in our workplace. We are pursuing the simple day-to-day rights that other professions take for granted."
I think this is great news and makes complete sense. Let's hope the idea is rolled out across all of the international fashion weeks!