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Skinny model inquiry may hit retailers' ads

The British Fashion Council's inquiry into the use of unnaturally thin models at London Fashion Week could have wider ramifications for fashion retailers, if it is found that their advertising encourages an unhealthy body image.

Baroness Kingsmill, who is the chair of the newly launched Model Health Inquiry, told Drapers: "I have an open mind as to what extent the recommendations might apply to the fashion retail industry as a whole or just to catwalks."

She added that the process was at too early a stage to predict appropriate recommendations.

The outcome of the study could include guidance for retailers' use of models in advertising and in-store photography.

Kingsmill added: "The inquiry will be canvassing a wide range of retailers, including high street businesses and high-end brands, as well as many other interested parties."

According to Kingsmill, the inquiry will launch a website so that interested parties can provide submissions or contributions.

The British Fashion Council, which is chaired by Marks & Spencer boss Stuart Rose, appointed Baroness Kingsmill last week to lead the investigation into the health of LFW catwalk models.

It follows the much-publicised criticism of size zero models.

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