Probably the aspect of fashion that annoys us most (there are so many) is the industry’s reckless habit of making stars of 14-year-olds: worshipping them for a season or two, then discarding the girls when the next ones come along. And, although we’ve always been huge fans fashion photography power duo Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin–their work, their humor, their muses (Daria, Malgosia, Jessica Miller)–one thing we’ve always loved most about the couple is their refusal to work with underage models.
Yesterday, Style.com asked them why:
Style: I read that you don’t shoot models under the age of 18. Was that a conscious decision?
VM: Very conscious.
IVL: We saw this happen to so many models, especially with girls. They start at 14 and everyone says to them, “Wow, you’re incredible. You’re so skinny. You look like a boy.” And once that girl is 18 and her body is finished growing, all of a sudden it was like, “Oh, she’s fat.” The poor girl. She’s just growing. We felt it was unethical to support that. You get judged anyway and it’s not easy. You have to really know who you are first. And at such a tender age—between 14 and 18—you’re figuring out who you are. [...] And as they grow, we grow with them. You never get bored of shooting someone that has made an interesting life for herself.
We don’t have anything against beautiful teenagers, obviously, but we think both the fashion and modeling industries would be a whole lot less toxic if others adopted the policy.