Miuccia Prada has garnered a reputation for discovering young, promising models over the years. Let's look back for a moment, shall we? In fall 2011, Prada cast 14-year-old actress Hailee Steinfeld in her campaign for Miu Miu, and in the same season, the Prada ad campaign starred a handful of very young up-and-comers: Ondria Hardin, Kelly Mittendorf and Antonia Wesseloh, who were all between the ages of 14 and 16 at the time. Even before that, Prada gave Lindsey Wixson her big break by casting her in the spring 2010 Miu Miu ads when she was just 15 years old. Now, it appears the designer has found her newest muse: Roos Abels, who made her runway debut at Prada on Thursday, is only 14.
Abels, who is a new face at Brave Models Milan, has recently updated her Instagram profile, but a cached version (that's still available on Google) clearly states her age. The CDFA has been rigorously pushing its health initiatives to keep models under the age of 16 off the runways, but season after season, designers make "exceptions" when it comes to casting their shows. Not only are the CFDA's measures an attempt to help designers comply with underage labor laws, it's also meant to protect the well-being of younger models, who are often subjected to long hours and insufficient rest.
Abels is a true beauty — and in her test shots, looks much older than 14 — so we'll be keeping our eyes out for her in the upcoming Prada campaigns. But do you think that Prada has stepped out of bounds for casting such a young girl?