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French fashion giants ban ultra-thin models

A host of French-owned fashion labels spanning Christian Dior to Saint Laurent pledged Wednesday to ban ultra-thin models from their advertising and catwalk shows following repeated scandals about anorexia and mistreatment.

French holding companies LVMH and Kering, which own dozens of top brands between them, unveiled a charter “to ensure the well-being of models” which will also outlaw the hiring of girls under the age of 16 to wear adult clothes at shoots or events.

In May, a French law requiring models to present a doctor s certificate attesting to their health and was introduced to try to tackle the problem of the industry promoting thinness and unattainable beauty ideals.

Ahead of the start of New York Fashion Week, the two French groups said they would ban their designers using size 32 models under the French system — size XXS or size zero in the US or four in Britain — and only use women who are size 34 or over. Men would need to be size 44 or over.

“Respecting the dignity of all women has always been both a personal commitment for me and a priority for Kering as a group,” the company s billionaire chairman Francois-Henri Pinault said in a statement.

“We hope to inspire the entire industry to follow suit, thus making a real difference in the working conditions of fashion models industry-wide,” he added.

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