Kylie Jenner, the 14-year-old half sister of Kim Kardashian, defied efforts by the fashion industry to prevent underage models from walking in major fashion shows after she hit the catwalk for Avril Lavigne’s Abby Dawn line.
Designer Diane von Furstenberg and Steven Kolb, chief executive of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) are leading the campaign, which has been endorsed by Vogue magazine’s Anna Wintour.
The CFDA made it an official policy to “strongly” recommend that designers refrain from hiring models under the age of 16.
While there is no way to enforce the measure, several designers have pledged to follow the CFDA’s recommendation.
“We have received pledges from all the top modeling agencies, including DNA, Elite, Ford, IMG, Marilyn, New York, Next, One, Supreme, Trump, Wilhelmina and Women,” the non-profit group noted on its Web site.
But singer Lavigne clearly flouted the group and set a bad precedent for the industry.
Lavigne who supports animal rights, apparently stops short when those animals are underage girls.
If underage semi-celebrities can walk in a major show, it’s unfair to ban models who are often just starting out in their careers.
Kim, Kourtney and Rob Kardashian turned out to lend their support along with Kim’s husband Kris Humphries.
Kylie wore a black mini-dress with a tulle, ballerina-like overlay.
Lavigne, 26, designed the collection, which was presented at Style 360 in New York City yesterday (Sept. 12).
Lavigne is dating Kylie’s half-brother, Brody Jenner, and made a spot for her in the show.
She more likely cut a deal with the Kardashians to promote her fading music and clothes on their show.
The CFDA’s policy has touched off widespread controversy in the fashion industry. New York Fashion Week is the first show where the recommendation has been official.
von Furstenberg became a big advocate of the policy after she unknowingly hired 15-year-old Hailey Clauson to walk in one of her shows. But that was before the age limit was official CFDA policy.
Some fashion bloggers have also openly criticized the policy, claiming that it is hurting young models, who are trying to establish themselves and their careers.
It would be even worse if only the privileged, or celebrities, get a pass from the recommendation.
Also so much for the industry’s effort to clean itself up.