Here’s A Brand New Project I’m Very Proud Of

I have some very exciting news to share: an organization that is very dear to my heart, and a project that I’ve had the honor of working on in one capacity or another on and off since the fall of 2009, is now on the cusp of its public début.

The Model Alliance is the brainchild of my friend and partner Sara Ziff — check out Shakthi Jothianandan’s excellent profile of Sara in the brand new issue of New York — and I am proud to serve on its board. The Model Alliance is a brand new nonprofit that works to address labor issues in the fashion industry, particularly labor issues affecting models. We want to promote the health and well-being of the very young people — many of them just children — who work as models.

We’ve been thrilled at the level of support we’ve enjoyed from the fashion industry: for many months now, we’ve enjoyed a very productive relationship with the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and we’ve had positive meetings with top editors at American Vogue,  show producers, casting agents, key people at various top modeling agencies, and many, many models. And we are lucky enough to count professor Susan Scafidi of the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham Law School and professor Dorian Warren of Columbia University as members of our board. The top model Coco Rocha sits on our advisory board. And we just got a shout-out from none other than CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg in her seasonal open letter to the industry. She threw her support behind our Backstage Privacy Policy, one of the three initiatives we’re pushing for this coming season.

Our Web site very quietly went live on Monday. You should all go click on it! Especially this page, where we’ve published beautiful, un-airbrushed portraits by Peter Ash Lee of many of our founding supporters, and this page, where you can read Sara’s introductory note, and this page, where you can see three excellent essays. One is by Lisa Cant, who writes about navigating the conflicts between having a career and getting an education, one is by Lisa Davies, who writes about financial transparency, and one is by Jessica Clark, who — under consideration for a major international cosmetics campaign — writes about the construction of race within the industry. You could also click here to get information on our three policy initiatives for the FW12 season, here to check out our news feed, where I’ll be writing about labor issues and news, and, oh, look, here you can even give us money. (Money is great, it really helps us do things.) Over the coming weeks, we have so many great things in store. If you want to make sure you’ll be the first to know, follow us on Twitter or “Like” us on Facebook.

This has been a long time coming. I love working in fashion, but given my background and experiences, I know first-hand there are problems in this industry. I, for one, am proud to be helping to find solutions.

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7 responses to “Here’s A Brand New Project I’m Very Proud Of

  1. Fantastic Jenna!!! This is wonderful, I’m so glad you are doing this.
    xoxo
    ph

  2. About time…
    I believe that much is won if the modells manage to get a hold over the most important part of why the agencies has so much controll: The money part.

  3. It was very inspiring to find this, and even cooler when we saw that you are involved as a New Zealander! Have noted this at our Women’s Futures Month Page: http://www.facebook.com/womensfutures

  4. Jenne,
    I support the efforts of you and Sara to help young, naive 16 year olds not be treated like prostitutes. I hear you when you say the Rogers’ featured on ABC are good people, but would Ms. Wintour have wanted her underage daughter being groped by lecherous photags (obviously assuming our Ms. Wintour was an Ohio mom, not the fashion elitist who could hardly be bothered to think of what the starving models who support her opulent lifestyle must endure). I truly believe New York state (is there an Att’y General still working?) and the Federal Agencies that govern workers rights should be involved. This is called an industry; if the slaveholders had needed PR people in our country’s infancy, they would have used the same lame word. It is unregulated slavery that needs controls…look how many models have quietly died in the past and after the few tears are wiped away, out came the compacts and mascara and the show went on. Please keep fighting!

  5. Forgive me..I meant to say the Clarkes’, not Rogers, who do appear decent, but if they discovered Asthon, I would think it might be smart for someone to get him onboard to tweet about starving underage girls being taken advantage of. He possibly could use the career boost anyways!

  6. Hey Jenna
    I attended your high school in Christchurch and I was always in awe of your intelligence and beauty! I used to sit in the circle bit at the end of the library and read the creative writing archives- and your work has made an imprint on my mind even to this day.
    i just wanted to say thank you for being an outstanding role model. Intelligent girls like you- the world needs more.
    X

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