NOT SUCH A GOOD IDEA: Models at London Fashion Week next month won’t have to produce a health certificate before they get on the runway after all. Hilary Riva, chief executive officer of the British Fashion Council, said in an open letter Wednesday that a yearlong model health inquiry deems certificates “an unworkable solution.” “From our conversations with our international counterparts in New York, Milan and Paris, it has become clear that they do not recognize the need for an international health certificate,” Riva wrote.
Riva added that the inquiry’s panel also found that the questionnaire that models would have to complete to obtain a certificate would be “intimidating and invasive,” and that the cost and time it takes to obtain a certificate would prevent many models, particularly those not based in the U.K., from working in London.
Instead, Riva said the BFC has asked the U.K.’s Association of Model Agents to develop a way to safeguard the health of models through the agencies it represents. The inquiry already bars models under 16 from walking in shows during London Fashion Week and requires that London shows have healthy backstage environments.
Riva added in the letter that the inquiry is mulling a “Healthier Model Program,” which she said would require public funding. The council is awaiting government feedback. Meanwhile, Riva said the BFC plans to develop a Web site that will provide advice for models and those interested in the modeling industry.
— Nina Jones