Reports are streaming from London that a large pack of models are seeking to join the British chapter of Actor's Equity, the union that represents theater performers. According to The Independent, the group includes some very famous models, and aims to set easier working conditions for the girls, who fear if they speak up to their agencies, they'll get dropped. If the move works, it could revolutionize the inner-workings of the industry, especially during Fashion Week, when models often work for days on end with little food or sleep (for that matter, so do fashion journalists, but that's another issue). Joining Equity could also offer the girls protection if they're forced out of jobs because they've gained weight, something many models privately say is a huge fear in their lives. Still, if some models unionize and others don't, there's a big chance those models in Equity will simply get less (or no) work, in favor of girls without representation and rules on when and how they can work. For this to be effective, nearly every working model would have to join, and certainly all the in-demand ones. Then again, the fashion and beauty industries could simply promise to treat their girls better, though some would argue that for the money the top models are making, they should just be quiet and look pretty.
New Bill Aims to Protect Models from Clients Who Won't Pay Up
Among the many problems plaguing the modeling industry is the fact that models have no way to recoup lost wages if a client is unwilling or unable to pay. Fortunately, the Model Alliance and Freelancers Union are working together to change that. According to an announcement posted on Model Alliance's site, the two organizations are working together to help pass the Freelancer Payment Protection Act, a proposed law that will help protect models and other freelancers in New York from deadbeat clients as well as protect models from wage theft by their agencies.