Catwalk model 'sanctuary' faces closure
Centre launched to help vulnerable models during London Fashion Week is to close over rent issues
Adam Sherwin is Media Correspondent at The Independent and an award-winning writer who specialises in covering the entertainment, broadcasting, music and popular culture industries. Previously Media writer and diarist at The Times, he was a co-founder of the Beehive City media and entertainment website. As regular contributor to BBC London 94.9 Radio station, he was named Music Business writer of the year at the awards of influential music industry site Record of the Day in 2006.
Saturday 04 February 2012
A respite centre which gives support to vulnerable catwalk models will not open during London Fashion Week later this month after its founder, Erin O'Connor, said the organisation had lost its premises over rent issues.
The British supermodel, 33, launched the Model Sanctuary in 2008 to provide "discrete health guidance and educational support" to models.
Based in Covent Garden, the centre was launched after the refusal by London Fashion Week organisers to follow the example of countries such as Spain by banning dangerously thin models from the catwalk.
The centre had become a vital resource during the event, opening its doors to 200 models a day, many aged between 16 and 18, who made use of its team of health professionals, including a psychologist and nutritionist. But Ms O'Connor said yesterday: "For reasons beyond my control, the Model Sanctuary will not be operating during the forthcoming London Fashion Week.
"This is due to a combination of last minute changes to contributions from sponsors and, despite an incredible response from a number of loyal and enthusiastic supporters, we have been unable to find an alternative venue after our home of the last few seasons became subject to a long-term lease."
Ms O'Connor described by Karl Lagerfeld as one of the world's best models, urged the fashion industry to provide the financial support to "help us secure a permanent home during London Fashion Week, so we can continue our valuable work."
The Model Sanctuary was backed by Jo Swinson, a Liberal Democrat MP, who campaigns against airbrushing models in adverts.
She said: "London Fashion Week is a very demanding time for models, who are faced with real pressures surrounding their health and appearance. At the Model Sanctuary, models can make their own health and wellbeing decisions in a positive way."
The London Fashion Week 2012 starts on 17 February.
Life & Style blogs
No, a porn star wasn't tricked into performing a sex act on her brother
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
A nap a day could save your life
Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
The antidote to Tinder? Majority of dating app users want relationship, rather than hook-ups, study finds
- 1 Caitlyn Jenner car crash: Driver who died in collision sued by surviving passengers for $18.5m
- 2 Pictures show young Palestinian girl biting Israeli soldier trying to detain boy during West Bank protests
- 3 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 4 Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
- 5 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...