This week Anna Wintour and Michael Kors spoke on a panel about model health and eating disorders in Boston, along with Natalia Vodianova. WWD has a bit more today from Wintour, the arguably most fascinating panelist of the bunch, especially when talking about thinness:
“Each and every one of us needs to realize we are all responsible for models’ health,” said Wintour, who called on designers to reverse the “tyranny of [sample] clothes that just barely fit a 13-year-old on the edge of puberty.”
Wintour suggested that the rise of extreme thinness in fashion is why the industry so seldom create supermodels like it did in the nineties:
Most [models] work only when they have the uberslim physique of the very young, stop getting jobs when they fill out and hence don’t last long enough to develop public personalities, like the Nineties supermodels did. As a result, more magazine covers and lucrative beauty contracts have gone to singers and actresses, she observed.
However, Wintour was key in turning celebrities into the go-to subjects for magazine covers, which could also have helped expand their reach into beauty campaigns.
Earlier, in a separate interview, Wintour said Vogue uses Photoshop to erase small imperfections, but does not use it to make girls look thinner than they are. She said Vogue editors have made a commitment to feature a wider variety of body types.
WWD notes that Wintour’s participation in this talk coincides with the release of Vogue’s April “Shape” issue. A quick flip through the shape issue reveals: Gisele looking stupidly thin just after giving birth, Karlie Kloss looking twiggy in miniskirts, and Liya Kebede looking, well, likewise very skinny. There are a couple of pictures of plus-size model Kate Dillon, but a “plus” girl is a “Shape”-issue staple, so her inclusion doesn’t necessarily point toward a noticeable difference in the magazine’s usual model roster — or the commitment Anna’s talking about.