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BFC calls on retailers to help with skinny models inquiry

The British Fashion Council is urging retailers and brands to submit evidence to its independent inquiry into the use of unnaturally thin models at London Fashion Week.

Members of the Model Health Inquiry panel were named this week, with chairwoman Baroness Kingsmill saying there was a lack of research data available about the industry.

She said: "The fashion industry needs to grow up. It is vital that retailers, suppliers and brands help with the inquiry."

Lady Kingsmill said that recommendations from the inquiry, although not binding, would have implications for retailers, brands, models and designers. Although she said it was too early to say how far the guidelines would stretch, she had earlier told Drapers the recommendations could be wider ranging than just catwalk models, to include all fashion models.

She added: "I've heard stories about models being taken to shoots late at night, in the middle of nowhere with no transport home. The inquiry is about health and safety as a whole."

Designer Mark Eley of Eley Kishimoto said the issues needed to be addressed. He said: "I'm sure there are people who don't treat models with respect, but we ensure ours are looked after. We only employ girls aged over 16 and our clothes are a size 10."

The panel will publish key findings in July, with recommendations in time for LFW in September.

The inquiry was established by the BFC and is supported by The Work Foundation, Marks & Spencer and the London Development Agency.

INQUIRY PANEL

Sarah Doukas, founder of Storm Model Management

Betty Jackson, British fashion designer

Charlotte Clark, co-ordinator of INCA promotions

Paula Reed, style director, Grazia

Erin O'Connor, British model

Professor Wendy Dagworthy, head of the School of Fashion and Textiles at the Royal College of Art

Dr Adrienne Key, consultant psychiatrist

Giles Deacon, British fashion designer

Written submissions can be made via the web at www.modelhealthinquiry.com until the end of June.

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