On Monday night, fashion and film insiders packed SoHo House for the latest REACT to FILM screenings of Dave Redmon and Ashley Sabin’s “Girl Model” to discuss what could or should be done about the issue of under-age girls working in the fashion industry.
Models were not in short supply, most notably Sara Ziff, the former face of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfinger, and now the champion of Model Alliance. Press attendance was from ABC Dateline filming a story on the issue as well as editors from Oprah, Vogue and GQ. Fashion execs on hand were from Christian Dior, Diane von Furstenberg, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Yves St Laurent. Oscar-nominated director Marshall Curry, just back from LA, was on hand for the 9pm screening, as was James Franco’s former co-director Lacy Dorn, who just screened her new feature film last Friday in TriBeCa.
Following the 7pm and 9pm screenings, co-founder of REACT to FILM Coralie Charriol moderated discussions with the fashion/film audience and the film’s co-directors, Sara Ziff and Jenna Sauers, and French model and one of the stars of the film Rachel Blaise. Also participating in the dialogue was UK-based uber-model Victoria Keon Cohen, the leader of Equity’s models’ union in London.
The discussion turned heated at times as co-founder Dennis Paul urged industry insiders that there was no plausible reason why fashion brands or magazines should employ under-18 girls to do adult work. “If 18 years old is not young enough for a brand or magazine to promote an adult lifestyle or product in a beautiful way, then there is something wrong with you,” he argued, suggesting that under-18 girls should model if they chose to do so, but only in age-appropriate editorials and campaigns.
REACT to FILM is a 510c3 nonprofit that leverages the best documentary films to promote social responsibility and spark civic engagement. The RtF Influencer/Press Screening Series chooses 6-8 films each year before they are theatrically released and exposes them a curated audience of influencers and press, to inspire them to REACT to the issues raised by each film and change the world around them for the better.