Su­per­model Edie: Stop mak­ing us strip naked back­stage

The Mail on Sunday - - News - By Si­mon Murphy

SU­PER­MODEL Edie Camp­bell is de­mand­ing that fash­ion shows pro­vide pri­vate chang­ing rooms af­ter re­veal­ing her ‘hu­mil­i­a­tion’ at be­ing forced to strip naked back­stage.

The 27-year-old, who has graced the cover of Vogue, said that chang­ing in crowded ar­eas was ‘bizarre’ and ‘un­com­fort­able’ – and claimed it ‘de­hu­man­ised’ mod­els.

Her calls seem to be be­ing heard. She says the ma­jor­ity of de­sign­ers at the on­go­ing Lon­don Fash­ion Week have agreed to pri­vate ar­eas for mod­els to un­dress.

Her com­ments come af­ter she railed against abuse in the fash­ion in­dus­try in an open let­ter last year.

The English model, who at­tended the £24,000-a-year St Paul’s Girls’ School, is es­ti­mated to earn £2 mil­lion a year and has walked the run­way for Chanel, Ver­sace and Stella McCart­ney.

Speak­ing on BBC Ra­dio 4’s To­day pro­gramme yes­ter­day, she said: ‘Back­stage ar­eas are very busy, there’s a lot of peo­ple there from kind of ev­ery part of the pro­duc­tion of putting on a fash­ion show – hair and make-up, stylist, PR, the press them­selves, cater­ers, pro- duc­tion as­sis­tants, ev­ery­one, kind of, you could imag­ine.’

She said the ex­pe­ri­ence of get­ting naked in front of so many peo­ple was ini­tially ‘jar­ring’ but grad­u­ally be­came ‘nor­malised’.

But she was stuck by the thought of how ‘bizarre and un­com­fort­able’ the prac­tice was when she saw de­sign­ers putting up pri­vate chang­ing ar­eas in New York last year.

She said it then oc­curred to her how it had been ‘ hu­mil­i­at­ing to have pre­vi­ously been en­cour­aged to change or been forced to change in front of ev­ery­one. I think it adds to a much broader ques­tion of a de­hu­man­i­sa­tion of the model and a kind of ob­jec­ti­fi­ca­tion that is a symp­tom of a big­ger prob­lem.’

The model started out in the in­dus­try aged 15 but thinks young­sters should wait un­til they are 18. ‘There’s a very high turnover be­cause they start work­ing so young and their bod­ies change,’ she said. ‘ Their ca­reers are over by the time they are 18 be­cause they start work­ing while they are pre-pubescent.’

Asked what she would tell teenagers hop­ing to break into the in­dus­try, the star – whose mother So­phie Hicks was once fash­ion editor for Bri­tish Vogue and whose younger sis­ter Olympia is also a model – said: ‘Stay in school.’

Last year, Edie wrote an open let­ter in which she spoke out about a cul­ture within the fash­ion in­dus­try ‘that is too ac­cept­ing of abuse, in all of its man­i­fes­ta­tions’, ques­tion­ing why mod­els un­der 18 are al­lowed to work and why it was ac­cept­able for mod­els to be sent alone to pho­tog­ra­phers’ homes for cast­ings.

Ear­lier this year, the fash­ion world was shaken when pho­tog­ra­pher to the stars Mario Testino was ac­cused of sex­u­ally ex­ploit­ing male as­sis­tants and mod­els.

A spokesman for the Bri­tish Fash­ion Coun­cil (BFC), which runs Lon-

‘It’s bizarre, hu­mil­i­at­ing and de­hu­man­is­ing’

don Fash­ion Week, said: ‘We have al­ready im­ple­mented com­pul­sory pri­vate chang­ing ar­eas for mod­els at the of­fi­cial Lon­don Fash­ion Week venue as well as pri­vate cu­bi­cles for mod­els who do not wish to change in front of other mod­els.

‘The BFC has in­structed de­sign­ers show­ing out­side of the of­fi­cial Lon­don Fash­ion Week show space to follow its ex­am­ple.’

‘PROB­LEM’: Edie Camp­bell, also left, at Lon­don Fash­ion Week yes­ter­day

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