,By Takeira Walls
In 2008, IMG Fashion Asia Pacific stated it would ban models under the age of 16 following controversy over the published, provocative image of 14 year old Polish IMG model, Monika Jagaciak. Detailing Jagaciak under a shower in a wet swim suit, IMG released multiple images to a Sydney newspaper which ran a cover story featuring Jagaciak—questioning if she was too young for fashion week.
Later the CFDA updated their guidelines to encourage designers and agencies against runway use of models younger than 16. Taking a different approach from the strict enforcement IMG used, the CFDA allowed designers to ultimately make their own decisions.
In 2012, Marc Jacobs received backlash for his blatant casting of Thairine Garcia and Ondria Hardin who were 14 and 15 at the time. Despite Jacobs’ response, he made multiple points that challenged the logic behind the dismissal of underage modeling. “I do the show the way I think it should be, and not the way somebody tells me it should be,” Mr. Jacobs said. “If their parents are willing to let them do a show, I don’t see any reason that it should be me
who tells them that they can’t.” Jacobs continued to challenge criticism by acknowledging the universal use of child actors and child models for catalogs and runways, which is of no difference to his use of young models.