A New York Times article by Eric Wilson entitled New York Sets Work Rules for Young Models was released yesterday. The piece detailed how Governor Cuomo passed legislation on Monday that redefined models under the age of 18 as "child performers". This reclassifcation sets harsh limits on how the models can work, making them a much less desirable option for the next New York Fashion Week. According to the article, besides receiving a lot of support from state senators, super models Coco Rocha, Arlenis Sosa, and Sara Ziff have supported this law.
It is very typical, and sometimes even preferred to start a modeling career in one's early to mid-teens. This has been a trend (though largely critisized) in the modeling world for years. The new law's regulations are extremely stringent. They include providing tutors and even chaperones for the models. It also dictates how long or late they can work on school nights or how often they are allowed to come to the studio. According to the article, in order to avoid the paperwork, fees and regulations, it simply makes more sense to cast models over the age of 18.
We are curious to see how this will impact Fashion Week this February and beyond. So many famous super models started their careers when they were not legal adults. Gemma Ward, Devon Aoki and Kate Moss were 14 when they began modeling professionally. Karli Kloss, Lindsay Wixon and Hailey Clauson were 15. Naomi Campbell was 17, and Iman was 13 years old! There are countless other models who began in their teens and remained famous into their twenties, thirties and beyond. Though the law makes a lot of practical sense, it will be interesting to see how this impacts the industry. Of course, young models can still be used. Furthermore, we would venture to say that if a designer fell in love with a certain "look" they would spare no expense to showcase it. It is still the fashion industry after all!