Sep 02, 2011 12:00AM

Proof of Age

Models' ID cards to be checked to ensure the minimum age of sixteen on the runway

Last season, the Council of Fashion Designers of America President, Diane von Furstenberg, got into an awkward situation when she unknowingly sent a 15-year-old girl down the runway. That incident prompted the CFDA to draw up a new set of guidelines in regards to the Health as Beauty and Diversity initiative, and tried to take a more official stand in enforcing a 'no under-16s' policy by strongly suggesting to designers that they require models prove their age by being IDed.

Earlier this week DvF, in combo with CEO Steven Kolb, sent out a missive making the statements in an attempt to take preventative measures to help try and protect young models; already plying promises from top model agencies that they will not to send under sixteen year olds for the shows. As part of the CFDA Ambassador Program, Lily Aldridge has been slated to speak to the young'uns and newbies at her agency (IMG) to provide her statuesque shoulder to lean on and lend her delicate ear for new models talk to.

Those 14- and 15-year-old fillies who are chomping at the bit to clomp down the runway at New York Fashion Week will simply have to wait - or get a convincing fake ID. Though, methinks that more often than not, if the potential young offender has a fierce enough visage, a borrowed ID from a look alike friend of age might just suffice. As Michael Kors tells Lauren Hutton in the latest issue of Interview:

I said two years ago, "No models under 16." Well, of course, right after I said that, we started seeing all of these girls from Eastern Europe, and every girl who'd walk in, you'd say, "Hi. What's your name?"And she'd be like, "I'm Svetlana." I'm like, "Svetlana, where are you from?" "Ukraine." "Svetlana, how old are you?" "16." Next girl walks in - she's from Eastern Europe and 16. Next one? Eastern European and 16. I was like, "Was there a bus?"


Words: Christel Escosa