Thursday, December 13, 2007

Will Models Unionize?

The Independent is reporting that a group of successful models in the U.K. is trying to join the Equity union, which represents actors and performers. "Models have no voice; no one is listening to them and no one is asking them what they want," said Martin Brown, an Equity spokesman who has been involved in the negotiations with the models since the spring. Spot on! He said: "We were approached earlier this year by a group of models who said they needed a union. They complained they had no one to represent them and that if something went wrong and they went to their agencies they were warned not to complain because they would not work again."

As I wrote about during New York Fashion Week, a union is exactly the kind of shake-up that needs to happen in the industry, and it's probably the only thing that will result in real rights and protections. Models (most of whom are very young and eager to please) face harsh working conditions and unhealthy pressures within a system where there is zero accountability. A union could change that--if enough models were willing to take the risk and join. We are working to organize a meeting in the U.S. If you're interested in getting involved, please get in touch. There is strength in numbers!

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