At 16, life is just beginning but not in the world of modelling according to a new fashion agency which is currently looking for 13 year olds to nurture into the fashion industry. The news comes just days after the controversy of Marc Jacobs’ Oh Lola! advertising campaign. Rachel Deer gives her views on the latest controversies in the fashion world as opinions continue to fly in essential student fashion news.
This week it has come to light that a new model agency GEAR will launch a search for new talent next month in the hope of finding younger models for campaigns. Of course, with the announcement came uproar from voices across the world who believe that children as young as 13 are too young for the fashion world.
The agency’s booking agent Naomi Fitzgerald de Grave hit back saying “I know people may think that 13 is very young, but that’s what the international brands are currently looking for in Europe” and continued “models are too old at 16 now.”
Despite the fact that GEAR has claimed that they would “never send a 13 year old girl over to New York or Paris to walk in the shows” and that they are merely putting them through “apprentice style management until they are old enough and mature enough to take on the demands of international modelling”, plans to recruit youngsters has been described as exploitative.
The news comes just days after the Marc Jacobs Oh Lola! perfume campaign was banned in the UK. Featuring teen actress Dakota Fanning, the Advertising Standards Authority, backed up my thousands of others, has said that the picture appears to sexualise a child with a provocative style.
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Twilight actress, Dakota Fanning, has been a Marc Jacobs favourite since she was 13 and her little sister has even worked with the brand. In the latest ad, Dakota is wearing a short pink dress and is posing with an oversized bottle of perfume between her legs.
Designer Marc Jacobs recently described his new fragrance Oh Lola! as “sensual” claiming that the little sister scent to the hugely successful Lola is “more of a Lolita than a Lola”. Let me remind you that Lolita is in fact the name of a novel which tells the controversial story of a man who becomes obsessed and sexually involved with a 12 year old girl, later to be his stepdaughter. So, is Marc Jacobs overtly sexualising Dakota? Apparently so, describing her as “seductive but sweet.”
Complaints came flying in as watchdogs stated that the star was being portrayed in an irresponsible and sexualised manner. It’s hardly surprising that people have complained considering the usual uproar when it comes to corruption in the fashion world.
There has been a lot of attention surrounding youngster in the news of late with most voicing their opinions that there is too much pressure on the youth of today. Generally in the world of fashion, there is little the general public can do to escape the idea of the ‘perfect’ body and it seems that little is being done to stop the corruption.
The question we must ask ourselves is whether we really are being seduced by the young men and women that walk scantily down the runway sporting tiny outfits and showing off their teeny tiny figures or if it is just something we like to see? Now, of course no one likes to see ribcages poking out of skinny bodies but one must admit that the advertising campaigns are something to admire. Maybe we love the mystery of that world and the unattainable figure that we will never have.
Of course, skinny silhouettes reign in the world of high fashion and there is little diversity but does that mean that the models we see should become younger and younger?