Models working at this year’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA) have finally won private changing areas for the first time in the history of the event.
This follows calls from the SDA – the union for models, for private change areas for models at Fashion Week. The SDA congratulated Fashion Week’s event organisers IMG for undertaking this important initiative which will improve comfort and safety models working at Australia’s most prestigious fashion event.
India Haylee-Barton an Australian born international model who has also studied design and worked in the industry for several years said the introduction of private changing areas would make a huge difference to models and something which was long overdue.
“"I think it’s an amazing win for models in Australia and the USA. It should now be enforced globally.”
“In my experience it has been way too easy for media and photographers to get into the backstage area while models were changing during the fashion shows.”
“I think other cities and countries should follow and enforce this, so models can feel comfortable while at work especially in an already high stress environment."
SDA NSW Secretary Bernie Smith said the privacy and comfort of models during fashion parades and some photo shoots had long been an issue in the industry.
“It’s been standard industry practice for models to change clothes in crowded common areas shared with makeup, clothing and photography staff, that provide little or no privacy for the models.”
“In an industry that has had issues with sexual harassment, understandably this has long been a sore point with working models.”
“We welcome the event organiser IMG’s decision to introduce private changing areas for models at this year’s Australian Fashion Week.”
“With the introduction of private changing areas at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia, the country’s premiere fashion event, we call for this practice to become the industry standard for all fashion shows and photo shoots across Australia.”
IMG’s decision to introduce private changing areas for models follows on from the introduction of private changing areas at New York Fashion Week in 2018 after models pressed for it.
SDA is the union for models in Australia and a founding member of the Australian Modelling Industry Alliance. It’s currently working with the Australian Human Rights Commission to tackle the problem of sexual harassment in modelling and other industries.