Mercury 8 hp 4-stroke specifications Howard

One Model Takes On the Fashion World — And Wins

What do you feel an agency’s responsibility is to its models in terms of their health?
A lot of these girls are teenagers who are away from home and who look up to their agents almost as a sort of motherly influence. I know I did — I wanted to make them proud. Some bookers do not have the experience in handling cases like health or mental strain, they brush issues they can't handle under the carpet. Some sort of health plan or care scheme needs to be put in place for these women and men, because it can take a huge toll on your social, mental, and physical well-being. It's about viewing models as people and appreciating that models will not look Photoshop-ready 24/7 because Photoshop is not real.

You’ve spoken about fashion’s lack of representation in terms of race / body shape / age — what do you feel is the solution?
There is blame all round, and it will take a joint effort from all designers, editors, agencies, models, and casting directors to make a difference. I fully appreciate that people want to buy into fashion and the fantasy surrounding it, but a dream is not limited to one body size, height, or color. Beauty is everywhere. I do actually think a lot of designers are starting to embrace various forms of beauty in campaigns, but a lot more can be done. You only need to look at Tom Ford’s campaign or Olivier Rousteing’s Balmain campaign to see a healthy representation of ethnicities, and the influence they hold in fashion is tremendous. But when it comes to sample sizes, there is often only one particular body shape that will fit into those clothes. They could start by upping the sample sizes so that more women could fit into them. Beauty is not measured by a number, and never should have been. And I not only find that incredibly insulting toward females as a whole, but also incredibly sad. Agencies do often have women of color on their books, but if casting directors or magazine editors don’t hire these girls, who is to blame then?

I've had Hispanic and African-American girls message me to explain how disconnected they feel from fashion. They feel hugely misrepresented, and who can blame them? There are few models in mainstream fashion that represent their heritage or bodies. It’s like, are you seriously suggesting there aren’t enough women of color deemed beautiful enough to be models? Of course there are. It's just that certain sectors of the fashion industry decide that unless these women have the same hip or waist measurements as a Caucasian girl, they're not “model material” —ridiculous, when we're all designed to be different. Beauty comes in so many forms, but a lot of the influencers in fashion won't look beyond their own noses. The solution lies in everyone’s hands.