Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week: Models' Complaints Resulted in a Major Dressing Area Policy Change

It’s about time.

New York Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2018 may have only commenced today, but it is already proving itself to be unique from previous seasons. On Tuesday, the Council of Fashion Designers of America announced that it partnered with the Model Alliance to create a safer environment for models — and that means private changing areas will be added to NYFW for the first time ever.

"Models have raised concerns about invasive photography and lack of privacy while changing clothes backstage at New York Fashion Week," Model Alliance founder Sara Ziff, said in a statement, according to The Cut. "The Model Alliance takes these concerns seriously and we decided to take additional steps this season to ensure a safe and respectful work environment by providing private changing areas backstage." 

To build these areas, the CFDA and Model Alliance have partnered with popular model agency IMG and Pier59 Studios.

Backstage at NYFW is a space constantly flooded with public relations reps, photographers, hair and makeup artists, show runners, and reporters. For years, models have had to strip down and change in the midst of this chaos with strangers all around them. That makes this initiative a truly momentous occasion and a great stride forward for the fashion industry — not to mention one that is long overdue.  

The new private changing areas come in conjunction with the CFDA’s recent expansion of its Health Initiative — from raising awareness for eating disorders to now include sexual harassment — which also comes in the midst of an influx of sexual harassment reports within the fashion industry.

"The current climate has been marked by brave women and men and their revelations about an unacceptable culture in politics, sports, and entertainment, as well as in fashion," CFDA chairwoman Diane Von Furstenberg wrote in a letter. Her letter continues on to share the council’s current main focuses to be health, safety, and diversity.

Bravo, for positive changes in the fashion world. 


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