Catwalk of the Damned


Catwalk of the Damned – 3/3/08



Ghostly complexions, sunken cheeks, hollow eyes, skeletal limbs and torsos were on public display in Paris last week as the city’s top fashion houses proved that anything said previously in that city about keeping unhealthy-looking models off the catwalk was just talk. Bans of size zero models began back in 2006 when a model from Uruguay, Luisel Ramos, died during a fashion show after having gone days without eating. Ms. Ramos’ sister, also a model, died due to complications from anorexia.

Discussion questions: Do you see a problem with designers continuing to use unnaturally thin models to promote the next season’s fashion? Should models be required to meet a minimum body mass index (BMI) to be allowed to walk down a catwalk or appear in ads and commercials? If you believe the use of “size zero” models is wrong, who has the responsibility to bring the practice to an end?

My post:

I personally think these models look horrible and the furthest thing from aspirational or sexy. However, we have to remember that the haute couture fashion shows are focused on a worldwide audience.  It is naïve to assume that the designers are hoping their Milan or New York show will inspire everyday U.S. shoppers.  Thiers is a make-believe world where their aim is to express their art in ever-unique venues and methods.  The edgy look of these models is just one the tools they use.

I too want to see these models better treated and to have a healthier look on the runways.  I agree with requiring a minimum BMI for all models – it is the only way to start moving the designers to an understanding that what they are doing for their art is damaging to the models and to the fashion business in the long run.  London, Mumbai and Madrid have BMI standards in place.  Paris, New York, and Milan need to join them and put the “heroin-chic” look to rest for good.

Mike Osorio, your Dare to be Contagious! TM strategist



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