Vogue strengthens age stance, Model convicted, Aretha Franklin dies at 76 and more news from this week

The CFDA expands its Health Initiative
Prefacing New York Fashion Week which begins September 6th and runs to the 12th, the CFDA posted a letter to members saying the CFDA Health Initiative has expanded to the Initiative for Health, Safety, and Diversity. In addition to encouraging and providing private backstage changing rooms at Spring Studios and Pier 59, recommending working with models aged 18 and over, the CFDA writes, “America is a country based on diversity and inclusion, and our industry should reflect this. Please bear this in mind when casting your shows.” The full list of guidelines is linked here.

With Ochs out, Carly Cushnie takes sole helm of the brand
On the back of their 10th-anniversary celebration, much has changed for New York contemporary label Cushnie et Ochs since last NYFW season. Designer Michelle Ochs left the company shortly after their February show, as did CEO Peter Arnold, leading Carly Cushnie to assume the role of sole designer head and CEO. Cushnie took the changes in stride, however, and next month she will make her return to the runway — her label now simply known as “Cushnie”. Her September show will include a denim capsule in partnership with Lee Body Optix. The BOF quotes Cushnie saying, “Nobody knows my business better than I do,” continuing, “Before the investment and before Peter joined, I was technically in this role without the title so to speak. Even though it seems very new to the public that I’m both roles, it’s not entirely new for me.” [BOF]

Aretha Franklin passes away at the age of 76
The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, passed away at the age of 76, her death was confirmed Thursday. The exact cause of death is still unknown, but Franklin had been placed in a Detroit hospice due to pancreatic cancer. The iconic singer, whose career is beyond prolific, had 18 Grammy Awards to her name as well as becoming the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Her legendary repute began in the 60s with the megahit “Respect” which would soon after culturally immortalize Franklin along with her numerous other indelible and significant songs.

Image by Tiziano Magni from @tizianomagni

Vogue strengthens stance on age limit with Maya Singer-penned article
Vogue released a strongly stanced article penned by Maya Singer appealing to the industry to adopt a more firm stance on minimum age while asking the question, “How did the fashion industry become so reliant on the labor of teenagers?” In the essay, Singer cites Condé Nast’s provision made earlier in the year meant to encourage safer working conditions: private dressing rooms, allowances for model approval of poses and clothing, and age “no model under the age of eighteen will be photographed for editorial (unless he or she is the subject of an article.)” She writes, “No more: It’s not right for us, it’s not right for our readers, and it’s not right for the young models competing to appear in these pages. While we can’t rewrite the past, we can commit to a better future.” Her comprehensive explication includes anecdotes and positions from from models like Pasha Harulia, Karen Elson and Karlie Kloss, model scouts Jeff and Mary Clarke of Mother Management and designers like Abloh, Rousteing, McCartney, and Ramsay-Levi. She quotes casting director Angus Munro, who describes the industry norm as, “Let’s throw a bunch of spaghetti at the wall, and maybe one noodle sticks and books the Prada show.” Singer examines causes like the internet, the fall of the Iron Curtain, celebrities on covers, superstylists, uniformity on the catwalk and supply-and-demand. The piece names specific supporters of the move: CFDA’s Steven Kolb, DNA’s David Bonnouvrier, Elite World Group and Society Management’s Chris Gay, and The Model Alliance’s Sara Ziff. The modeling agencies DNA and Society have explicitly agreed to no longer submit models under the age of eighteen for show consideration in North America (for DNA the exception is if they have already previously participated). Read the full article here.

Model George Koh found guilty of murder
The summation of an ongoing report, model George Koh was found guilty of murdering Harry Uzoka by stabbing him to death. The Guardian reported that during the confrontation both Koh and Uzoka were armed, Uzoka a dumbbell bar and Koh two knives. Also convicted on a murder charge, Merse Dikanda, and convicted on a manslaughter charge, Jonathan Okigbo. The Guardian cites prosecutor Richard Horwell QC with saying Koh had become “obsessed” with Uzoka and his success and claimed he had slept with his girlfriend which would initiate the tragic event. [The Guardian]

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