As the fashion industry deals with its own reckoning, it’s taking steps to protect models. Today, the Council of Fashion Designers of America announced a partnership with advocacy group the Model Alliance to create private changing areas at New York Fashion Week shows. Signs promoting a safe and respectful work space will be posted backstage as well, similar to the ones at LVMH and Kering shows last season.
Sara Ziff, founder of the Model Alliance, said in a statement, “Models have raised concerns about invasive photography and lack of privacy while changing clothes backstage at New York Fashion Week. The Model Alliance takes these concerns seriously and we decided to take additional steps this season to ensure a safe and respectful work environment by providing private changing areas backstage.”
The CFDA and the Model Alliance have worked with model agency IMG and Pier59 Studios (a popular fashion-week venue) to make the areas.
Many models have shared stories of exploitation during the #MeToo movement. Model Cameron Russell started the hashtag #myjobshouldnotincludeabuse and shared anonymous stories from models on her own feed. Most famously, male models accused photographers Mario Testino and Bruce Weber of sexually misconduct on set in a New York Times report.