Vogue Pledges to Support Fashion Industry Makeover - NBC Southern California

Vogue Pledges to Support Fashion Industry Makeover

Fashion giant wants to lead fight against exploitation, anorexia

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    Editors at Vogue Magazine say the fashion giant will stop hiring underage models and those who appear to be too thin or too unhealthy. Some industry insiders, like Hollywood-based model Katie Halchishick, are skeptical. Michelle Valles reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on May 4, 2012. (Published Friday, May 4, 2012)

    “Too young and too thin is no longer in” is the message Vogue Magazine wants to help spread.

    Nineteen Vogue editors from around the world are making a pact in hopes of projecting the image of a much healthier model.

    "I hope so," said model Alex Ferguson. "I'll believe it when I see it."

    Vogue editors have agreed not to knowingly work with models under the age of 16, or those who appear to be too thin or unhealthy.

    "In a court of law that means nothing," said model Katie Halchishick, who remains unconvinced. "It's kind of a disclaimer, like we will not knowingly do these things."

    Halchishick said that if anyone can change the fashion industry, it is Vogue.

    "Fashion is a world of high school," she said. "When one person makes it popular, everyone will follow, and that's really what we hope happens here."

    In an effort to change women's body image, Halchishick started Hollywood-based Natural Model Management, where they like to say, healthy is the new skinny.

    Jessie Levine may be a perfect example of what Vogue and Natural Model Management are looking for. She was discovered at a local eatery.

    "She found me at P.F. Chang's," Levine said. "I was eating."

    Halchishick said most of her models were straight size.

    "They had eating disorders, tried to fight their bodies at 15, they were with major agencies, because they wanted to be in Vogue,” she said.

    In the fashion industry, a size 4 is considered plus-model criteria.

    "When I tell them I'm a plus-size model, they look at me like I'm crazy," Ferguson said.

    Halchishick said it’s more important for her models to feel good than to starve themselves to look good.

    "We don't tell them what size to be,” said Halchishick. “When you are your healthiest you are your best."

    Now that Vogue editors have talked the talk, will they walk the walk?

    Halchischik has been around long enough to remain skeptical.

    "In the industry, you kind of go, 'Hmm, we'll see," she said.

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