Young girls are cheaper: Yasmin Le Bon on how 'penny-pinching' fashion designers exploit inexperienced models

By Sadie Whitelocks

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Nineties supermodel Yasmin Le Bon has slammed the fashion industry for exploiting young models and paying them next to nothing.

The 48-year-old, who was one of the highest paid catwalk stars during her heyday, described today's designers as 'penny-pinching' during a talk at the Condé Nast College in London on Wednesday.

She added: 'These young girls don't get paid very much, and they don't have the experience or the confidence to demand to be treated any differently by the industry.'

Nineties supermodel Yasmin Le Bon has slammed the fashion industry for exploiting young models and paying them next to nothing - she went on to describe today's designers as 'penny-pinching'

Nineties supermodel Yasmin Le Bon has slammed the fashion industry for exploiting young models and paying them next to nothing - she went on to describe today's designers as 'penny-pinching'

Indeed, 17-year-old model Hailey Hasbrook revealed last year that she worked grueling 17-hour days during Fashion Week only to be paid in 'trade,' not money.

One model in her early 20s, also spoke anonymously to Refinery29, about how after three years walking for big-name designers, she's come to realize that it's not about cash reward but 'more about exposure'.

 

At New York Fashion Week this February she made $4,200 for eight bookings but after deducting tax, commission and travel costs to attend her next run of shows in Paris, London, and Milan she said she would just about break-even.

Sara Ziff, founder of the Model Alliance, an organization that advocates for model rights, explained that models do not get paid for castings, fittings or travel, nor are they paid overtime for shows.

Bad body image: Mrs Le Bon suggests that the pressure to fit into sample sizes is even worse when it's directed at underage girls

Contributing to body image: Mrs Le Bon suggests that the pressure to fit into sample sizes is even worse when it's directed at underage girls

She told MailOnline: 'Most models who are 'new faces' do not make any money during Fashion Week. In fact, some working models end up in debt to their agencies.'

Mrs Le Bon said that she thinks it's 'wrong that young girls are now opening shows'.

When she was starting out, big name models such as Christy Turlington or Jerry Hall would be the first to walk the catwalk 'with so much experience behind them.'

'We were slim when I first started my career, but there was a bit more on us, and we were older'

However, nowadays she says designers are more concerned about saving cash where they can and don't think about the impact of throwing young girls in at the modeling deep end.

Mrs Le Bon, whose oldest daughter Amber works as a model, suggests that the pressure to fit into sample sizes is even worse when it’s directed at underage girls.

'We were slim [when I first started my career], but there was a bit more on us, and we were older,' she says. 'This kind of practice doesn’t make good for business.'

She commended Vogue's Health Initiative, the pact that was signed last year between 19 international editors of Vogue, for encouraging healthier attitudes towards body image.

The comments below have not been moderated.

What's up with the hair

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Maybe young models just love the job! Some people work not just for the money you know, find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life! How patronising.

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what actually should someone get paid to put on a dress and walk as though you got a cricket stump stuck in your backside,,,and have a strange look on your face,,,,while looking like a skeleton,,,,????????????

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she looks a lot older than 48

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Is she having a mid life crisis with the platinum blonde hair? And sounds like she has turned all bitter at not being in demand anymore? Sounds like sour grapes to me.

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Yasmin you do not suit blonde. Try a lovely chocolate brown with some caramel highlights. It would suit your lovely skin tone soooo much better.

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Why is she complaining now. She enjoyed her star status and all that came with it for years and years. Now because she is not in demand as before she is complaining about the ethics of the Fashion Industry in their use of younger models. If she had shown some awareness of this before I could take it. Now it's just a case of wanting to cling on. The same for some of the women in the media. When they were younger they didn't give a hoot about their older colleagues but once the tables turned it became all about ageism.

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Why is she complaining now. She enjoyed her star status and all that came with it for years and years. Now because she is not in demand as before she is complaining about the ethics of the Fashion Industry in their use of younger models. If she had shown some awareness of this before I could take it. Now it's just a case of wanting to cling on. The same for some of the women in the media. When they were younger they didn't give a hoot about their older colleagues but once the tables turned it became all about ageism.

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What has she done to herself? It has aged her so much!

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Yasmin! Go darker at once!! that blonde on her looks HIDEOUS! its GRAY!

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