Storm, Premier, Models1 being investigated for violating 1998 Competition Act

In London today, three top agencies are being investigated for price fixing.

The Evening Standard reports:

Plainclothes officers attended at the headquarters of Storm Model Management, Premier Model Management and Models 1 in dawn raids as investigators probed claims they are working together as a secret cartel to drive up appearance fees, the Mail on Sunday reported.
Officials from the Competition and Markets Authority are investigating claims they have been driving up the cost of fees by meeting as a cartel to agree prices they charge to big brands and retailers.
London skyline |

London skyline |

If the agencies are found to have broken regulations laid out in the Competition Act 1998 or Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, they could face fines of up to ten per cent of their worldwide turnover.
 A spokesman for Models 1 told the newspaper it was "co-operating fully" with the investigation, while Storm Model Management and Premier Model Management declined to respond to requests for comment.

Read the full article here.

Good reads: The Danish Fashion Ethical Charter

On March 26th, Vanessa Friedman waded into the "skinny model debate" for the New York Times. She argues that Denmark's new Fashion Ethical Charter has a greater chance of success than France's pending legislation banning booking "too-thin" models. Importantly, the Danish Charter doesn’t try to define “health” with arbitrary numerical figures such as body mass index figures.

Screenshot of  New York Times  online

Screenshot of New York Times online

After the news that France is considering a skinny models law, Denmark on Thursday entered the arena, albeit with a somewhat different strategic approach to the problem: one that focuses more on peer pressure within the industry and less on legislative pressure.
Although in general I am enormously skeptical about any Big Brother approach to managing eating issues, which are about a whole host of complicated psychological issues that do not have a one-size-fits-all solution (I went to a boarding school where anorexia and bulimia were ever-present, and we barely looked at a fashion magazine), I think this one just might have a chance to work.
The Danish Fashion Ethical Charter is a four-page document written by the Danish Fashion Institute, Danish Fashion and Textile, the Danish textile organization WEAR, the country’s eight largest model agencies, the Danish Association Against Eating Disorders and Self-Harm, and Model Union Denmark. 

Read the full article here.

How Binx won over Balmain's Olivier Rousteing

How did Binx Walton win over Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing? chatted with him to find out.

Binx backstage at the Balmain show at Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015 | W Magazine

Binx backstage at the Balmain show at Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015 | W Magazine

Here are our highlights:

“I met Binx at fittings for the Balmain AW14 show,” says Rousteing. “I instantly loved her tomboy yet supersexy look. She has an attitude that can give an edge to the most sophisticated and glamorous looks.” After strutting her stuff down Rousteing’s runway that season, their collaborations continued, with Walton appearing on the Balmain runway every season since.
“I work through instinct, and I need to feel a connection when I meet a girl,” the designer says. “[Binx] is very strong, smart, and opinionated—she is super-young, but she knows what she wants.” Rousteing was drawn to the Tennessee native’s drive and distinctive look. “What I love about girls today is when they represent the new world. With her amazing mixed-race beauty, she is the new generation, hashtag diversity.”
Always one to bring energy and excitement to the staid backstage environment, Walton has earned a reputation as an engaging personality. “Binx always surprises me. She can be the funniest person, dancing and joking around during a shoot, and at the same time she’s super-professional and gives you the attitude that you’re looking for,” says Rousteing.

Read the full article here.

The Financial Times analyzes the Burberry show

For The Financial Times, Grace Cook ran the numbers on the Burberry Fall/Winter 2015/2016 show. She then used the show to explain how the industry works. Especially interesting is the contrast in payment schema in London versus New York.

Our highlights:

Backstage at Burberry's Fall 2015 show | Photo by Russ McClintock for

Backstage at Burberry's Fall 2015 show | Photo by Russ McClintock for

● 1,600 guests representing 32 counties
● 7,220 tweets sent during the show. Burberry was mentioned more than 19,000 times during London Fashion Week, the most mentions of any brand
● 179 photographers of the 600 accredited by the British Fashion Council, took over 15,000 pictures
● 39 models walked the runway, with 15 models walking twice
● 180 media outlets live-streamed the show
● 30 minutes Average time spent by each model in the make-up and hair chair
● 21 make-up artists One lead artist (Wendy Rowe), with 20 assistants
● 52 seconds Average time that it took each model to walk the runway
● 54 looks made up Christopher Bailey’s AW15 collection for Burberry Prorsum
● 45 metres The length of the runway
● 2 casting directors Barbara Nicoli and Leila Ananna
● 13 minutes, 33 seconds Length of the show
● 19 hair stylists One lead (Christiaan Houtenbos) with 18 assistants
● 4 hours Amount of time before the show that the models arrived

Cook writes,

Picked by casting directors Barbara Nicoli and Leila Ananna (who also cast for Gucci), the Burberry models came from six continents — yet no casting is confirmed until each model has arrived in London, meaning that confirmations can be as late as the day before the show.
“The process of casting models starts with composite cards of all the potential show girls here for LFW being emailed [to casting agents] as a PDF, and then followed up with a hard package of model cards,” says Aidan Jean-Marie, a director at Premier Model Management, who had five models in the Burberry show.
Once the models have arrived in London, there is then a live casting, where they are optioned before the final process: fit to confirm — “this is where the model is either confirmed or cancelled — it’s all about the look working.” For fittings, models are paid a flat fee of £50 per hour, plus 20 per cent agent’s fee.
The rates that models are paid varies dramatically, and in London — where the British Fashion Council sets many of the rates — is particularly dependent on the show. Fees start at about £100 for a first-time designer, although models can get “£30,000-plus for just one show”, says Jean-Marie. At that rate, it is likely that the model is on an exclusive deal, permitting her to work only for that one designer worldwide. 
In New York, Marc Jacobs pays in trade, allowing models to pick pieces from his line, while Ralph Lauren and Oscar de la Renta are believed to be the best payers — with models referring to the latter as “Oscar pays the Renta”.

Read the full article here.