Models are an integral part of the fashion industry and for decades have been employed to showcase designer clothing. In the UK, just like actors they are self-employed, represented by agencies.
There are many professional agencies in the UK - recognised as world class. Unfortunately, as with many sectors, there are also rogue agencies and anyone aspiring to be a model needs to be aware of who these are and how to avoid them. The newly formed British Fashion Model Agency Association (BFMAA) aims to unite the UK modelling industry to face and tackle industry challenges and recognises legitimate model agencies that sign-up to a code of Best Practice.
The industry is also a target of cybercrime, with rogue agencies posing as legitimate model agencies and asking young people for photographs. On no account should anyone aspiring to be a model share any images before they have checked the credentials of the agency, met them in person, and spoken to the agency’s existing models and if possible clients.
Once a model has been signed by a legitimate agency, it is important that they know their rights and have support to develop th eir careers. The BFC is developing a series of guides to assist in this. The first is The New Model Guide to London Fashion Week. Each season at London Fashion Week (LFW) and London Fashion Week Men’s (LFWM) the BFC host a dedicated Model Zone, the opportunity for working models to meet members of the British Fashion Council and the opportunity to call or email, should they feel unable to speak to their agent about a problem.
The LFW Model Zone operates throughout LFW and LFWM. It is a calm and peaceful space for models to rest, meet independent advisors on nutrition and health as well as having access to healthy food and drink.
In 2007 the BFC commissioned Baroness Kingsmill to undertake the Model Health Inquiry. Following this report we established the Model Programme working group, which meets at least once a year to review progress on initial Model Health Inquiry recommendations. Read the 2015 updates here.
Best Practice for Agencies
The latest recommendation from the Model Programme working group was to begin to establish a Best Practice Guide for model agencies that will set the bar for British agencies to be leaders in the sector.
Following the Model Health Inquiry, Equity opened its membership to models.
The British Fashion Council is committed to developing diversity in the industry. It continues to encourage businesses and brands to consider the multi-cultural environment in which we live, as well as the global market, when employing models.
For more information on The Model Zone, please contact:
Alexandra Agyekum, Government Relations & Education Senior Assistant
+44 20 7759 1981
For working models seeking assistance please contact: