Vogue Gets Serious About Underage Models, For Real This Time

Karlie Kloss in Vogue Italia

Vogue China featured a 15-year-old in its most recent August issue, and Vogue Japan accidentally hired an underage model for a promotional shoot.  They pulled the photos after the model’s age was revealed, but the mistake wouldn’t have happened with more stringent guidelines in place to begin with.  So now Vogue worldwide is cracking down.

Would current age rules have affected the model Karlie Kloss’s career?  She began appearing in magazines at age 14.

The onus is on the agencies, who’ll be required to provide documentation of their models’ ages before the girls are cleared to appear in any of the editions of Vogue.  To a certain extent, the rules are being put in place a little after the fact, since the magazine’s Health Initiative, to keep young teenagers out of Vogue, was founded last year.  At any rate, though, adding guidelines and coming up with concrete rules for the occasional free-for-all modeling industry is nothing if not topical.

The British trade union Equity recently suggested a slate of new rules to get some regulation underway in the otherwise unregulated industry.  Of course, those would only apply in Great Britain.  Efforts like Condé Nast’s stand a better chance at making an impact, since the publisher wields influence all over the globe.  And hey, at least the Japanese edition of Numéro has been taking heat for airbrushing out model Karlie Kloss’s ribs.  Maybe there are some positive changes afoot, after all….