Fashion industry publishes charter to ban size-zero models

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The Independent Online

Some of the most powerful figures in the fashion world have put their weight behind a campaign to banish dangerously thin models from the catwalk.

Under the charter published yesterday, fashion chiefs will require models to show proof of their good health - or be barred from some of the world's most prestigious fashion events.

Drawn up by a coalition of global fashion houses and the Italian government, the new voluntary code also bans the use of models aged under 16, saying that they risk "sending the wrong message to girls of the same age in the delicate pre-puberty stage".

The campaign's signatories will pledge that they will include larger sizes in their latest collections in recognition of the "healthy, sunny, full-bodied Mediterranean beauty that Italy has historically contributed".

As reported in The Independent on Sunday last week, the code - to be signed by leading fashion houses next week - was drawn up as pressure grows on fashionistas to confront the issue of thin models and the influence they have on young women.

Madrid fashion week banned models with a body mass index below 18 after the death in August of the Uruguayan model Luisel Ramos. The anorexia-related death of a second model this month prompted Brazil and Argentina to join the campaign.

But some of the world's largest fashion houses at first refused to take action. Mario Boselli, the head of Italy's Camera Nazionale Della Moda, said there was no need for regulation.

Last month, the chamber backed down, and agreed to work with the government to draw up the new rules which will see size-zero models banned from Milan's fashion week in February.

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