As president of The Council of Fashion Designers of America, Diane von Furstenberg has been vocal helping to improve health guidelines for the modeling industry, and even re-released a set of industry guidelines right before Fashion Week to stress the new initiative. The focus of the guidelines includes a push not only to keep models well-fed, but also to discourage designers from using models under the age of 16.
Unfortunately, DVF found herself in direct violation of the rule when she recently learned one of the models hired to walk her Fall 2011 show last week in New York, Hailey Clauson, is only 15 years old.
Clauson is a rising star in the industry, but she is still underage according to the proposed standards, which, according to WWD, DVF admitted in an open letter of apology to CFDA members:
"As you remember, I sent you all a letter prior to the shows, emphasizing healthy models and diversity, and reminding you of our Health Guidelines," von Furstenberg stated in the letter. "One of the guidelines, as you know, is not to hire models under 16 in addition to making sure that all of them are properly fed. Well, it is to my horror, that I discovered last Friday that in spite of me repeating that to my production and casting people, one girl slipped through the cracks. One girl who will be 16 in March walked my show last week!"
She goes on to suggest the CFDA members make efforts to get even stricter with the policy by checking models' IDs.
Though the designer has seemed to have a rough couple of weeks, save for a typically triumphant fall 2011 collection showing -- she suffered a skiing accident and made another public apology to the First Lady via The Daily Beast, for insuing she was "disappointed" in Mrs. Obama's choice of wearing Alexander McQueen to a state dinner -- but it seems Diane von Furstenberg is making a very public apology tour, which always seems to be the best approach.