London Fashion Week refuses to ban 'size 0' models from catwalk

Dangerously thin models will not be banned from catwalks at London Fashion Week, despite an appeal from the British Fashion Council to use "healthy" models.

Last September, Spain introduced rules banning models with a Body Mass Index (BMI) under 18 appearing on the catwalk in Madrid. This followed the death of the Uruguayan model Luisel Ramos, who died of heart failure after eating nothing for days.

Two months later, the death of the Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston was linked to her battle with anorexia nervosa.

Milan followed Madrid's lead while Paris described it as a "non-issue", but despite pressure from politicians and physicians, ultra-thin models will not be prohibited from appearing during London Fashion Week. Instead, a task force will draw up a voluntary code of practice to promote the use of models larger than the American size zero (British size four), who are aged 16 or over.

The Secretary of State for Culture, Tessa Jowell, said that she welcomed the move to promote the use of healthy models. "Too many teenage girls try to starve themselves into unhealthy thinness, at great risk to their health," she said.

"The fashion industry is hugely powerful in shaping the attitudes of young women and their feelings about themselves. Teenage girls aspire to look like their role models. If their role models are healthy it will help inspire girls to be the same."

The British Fashion Council said: "We believe regulation is neither desirable nor enforceable. What will make a difference is the commitment of the fashion industry to change attitudes through behaviour and education."

Doctors and members of the fashion industry will join the taskforce to find a workable solution to the concerns about the use of thin models. Sponsors of London Fashion Week, including Topshop, Superdrug and MAC, have agreed to support the code. Stuart Rose, chairman of the fashion council and chief executive of Marks & Spencer, said: "I think this code is a step in the right direction. The health of the model is paramount and the image that fashion projects is something that needs to be addressed."

Susan Ringwood, chief executive of the Eating Disorders Association, said that although the fashion and celebrity industry does not cause people to have an eating disorder, "it is part of the context". She said that none of 100 young people with eating disorders recently questioned by the association said they were trying to emulate thin models or celebrities. "But once they were unwell, it became very hard for them to get better once they were surrounded by these images," said Ms Ringwood.

The World Health Organisation uses the BMI - a ratio of height to weight - to calculate the healthy size for an individual. A BMI under 18.5 is regarded as underweight, while a BMI between between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered healthy.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Mock the tweet: Ukip leader Nigel Farage and comedian Frankie Boyle
peopleIt was a polite exchange of words, as you can imagine
Life and Style
fashion
Life and Style
Britons buy more than 30 million handsets each year, keeping them for an average of 18 months
tech
Arts and Entertainment
TV Presenters Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly. Winners of the 'Entertainment Programme' award for 'Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway'
musicAnt and Dec confirmed as hosts of next year's Brit Awards
Arts and Entertainment
Orson Welles made Citizen Kane at 25, and battled with Hollywood film studios thereafter
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Humanities and Economics Teacher - January 2015 - Malaysia

£18000 - £20400 per annum + Accommodation, Flights, Medical Cover: Randstad Ed...

SEN Teaching Assistant needed for long term assignment

£45 - £55 per day: Randstad Education Preston: We are looking for an experienc...

Primary Teachers Required in King's Lynn

Negotiable: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary Teachers needed in King's Ly...

Primary Teachers needed in Ely

Negotiable: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary Teacher needed in the Ely ar...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain