The designer and CFDA have warned against use of underage and unhealthy models at the upcoming shows.

With New York Fashion Week kicking off in under a week the Council of Fashion Designers of America (or CFDA) headed up by Diane Von Furstenberg has issued a warning about good practice in the employment of models.

Von Furstenberg who is President of the CFDA along-with Steven Kolb the CEO, posted an open letter on the organisation's website stressing the importance of health and diversity in the industry.

In the letter, the full text of which is available online, she says:

"As we approach New York Fashion Week, let’s remember that beauty is health and health is beauty.  It is also important to remember that beauty is diversity and as an industry, we stand by these two principles."


Readers are reminded of the organisation's Health Initiative Guidelines which include encouraging models who have an eating disorder to seek help, checking model's ID to ensure they are not underage and supplying healthy food and drink backstage.

Von Furstenberg also warns again the use of young models:

"We strongly believe that models under the age of 16 do not belong on the runway and we ask everyone to follow this belief. Remember, we must consider the emotional and physical well-being of these young women" she continues.

Finally a commitment to promoting diversity on the runway is reaffirmed with a link to the guidelines on Racial Diversity formulated by former model Bethann Hardison.

The guidelines includes requirements for designers to request models of colour from agencies, to include them every season, encourage agencies to scout models of colour and to be open minded about adding diversity to model line-ups.