Designer Bradley Bayou Calls Out CFDA for Too-Thin Models

Model Charlotte di Calypso at the spring Armani Privé show in Paris, January 2008 Photo: imaxtree

The skinny-model debate raged on today thanks to Bradley Bayou. The former Halston designer started fighting the good fight after watching his own daughter battle anorexia. He stopped using size-0 and size-2 models, but still witnessed his daughter collapse from the disease. "There are two ways to become a size zero," Bayou said Tuesday night at Harvard. "Starve yourself or take drugs. Or both. And yes, they all do it."

The designer said the CFDA is ignoring the problem. CFDA officials, however, feel the guidelines drawn up over a year ago to help designers and casting directors identify eating disorders and ensure runway models are healthy are in fact working:

Responding to Bayou, CFDA executive director Steven Kolb said Wednesday the organization's education and awareness efforts are causing a culture shift. "There is no question there has been movement," he said. "I see it already on the runways. I'm getting calls from designers and casting agents who are not using girls who don't meet our criteria for health....Getting involved in the complexity of a standardized law [regarding a mandatory minimum body mass index] is not the answer."


Maybe New York should finally start taking cues from our Euro counterparts? Milan Fashion Week prohibits models with a body mass index below 18.5 from the runways; Madrid rejected 30 percent of models from walking its recent Fashion Week because they were unhealthy; but we have no such regulations, and watching the New York shows this season often felt like an exercise in bone counting.

It's great people are still talking about this issue, but we'd guess that until a designer like Marc Jacobs decides flesh is in, it's just all talk.

Bayou Criticizes Industry for Too-Thin Models [WWD]