April 11, 2008 / 8:50 AM / 9 years ago

Australian fashion show dumps young models

2 Min Read

<p>Models rehearse on the catwalk prior to a show during Australian Fashion Week in Sydney October 9, 2007. Australia's fashion industry dumped plans to use a 14-year-old model as the face of its annual showcase on Friday after fashion magazines refused to publish the girl's photo because she was too young.Mick Tsikas</p>

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Australia's fashion industry dumped plans to use a 14-year-old model as the face of its annual showcase on Friday after fashion magazines refused to publish the girl's photo because she was too young.

Organizers of Australia's fashion week had planned to make 14-year-old Polish model Monika Jagaciak the star of its annual fashion shows from April 28 to May 2.

But editors from Vogue magazine and Marie Claire threatened to pull coverage of the fashion events and called for Organizers to follow guidelines in place in London and Paris, which place restrictions on models under 16 years old.

"Fourteen is young and extreme," Australia's Vogue editor Kirsty Clements told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.

"That is a big disconnect to what you are essentially supposed to be doing, selling clothes to women, and yet you are getting them so young that they haven't even developed a curve.

"What does that mean? They are going to be washed up and on the scrap heap, which actually does happen as soon as they start to develop breast and hips. It is ridiculous."

Marie Claire editor Jackie Frank said it was time publishers and fashion companies took a stand and lifted the minimum age of models to 16.

After initially standing by its decision on Jagaciak, fashion week Organizers on Friday backed down after industry pressure.

"Effective immediately both male and female models participating in AFW (Australian Fashion Week) will need to be at least 16 years of age and must be represented by a reputable model agency," organizer Simon Lock said in a statement.

Reporting by James Grubel; Editing by David Fogarty

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