A couple of weeks back, the team at Talent Management suspected that Vogue China had used an underage model in its August issue, which came out three months after Vogue’s Health Initiative – banning models under the age of 16 – was announced.
As it turns out, we were right. Vogue UK confirmed that the model, Ondria Hardin, was just 15 when she was shot for an article about up and coming models.
According to Vogue China’s Editor-in-Chief Angelica Cheung, the article was prepared before the Health Initiative was announced, but was not caught out when published.
Apologising for the mistake, she told Vogue UK: “It happened under our radar, and we are truly sorry. We will make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Jonathan Newhouse, chairman and chief executive of Condé Nast International, apologised too, saying: “The Health Initiative banning underage models is very serious, and we will reinforce it. I apologise for the error which took place in China. We will do everything possible to prevent future errors.”
Vogue UK went on to reveal that another underage model had been shot for an “advertising promotion shoot” arranged to feature in a future issue of Japanese Vogue, but on this occasion the age slip-up was caught and the ad has been subsequently pulled.
They said that in order to prevent future mistakes, the Vogues will enforce more thorough checks to prevent underage models appearing in the magazines, for example asking model agencies to provide “documentary proof of the ages of models who are not well known”.
Vogue UK also clarified the rules in relation to actual child models, saying: “Condé Nast officials pointed out that occasionally a Vogue will publish an article or supplement devoted to children’s apparel, and that the ban on young models did not apply to articles about children dressed appropriately in children’s clothing.”
We wonder how child model Thylane Blondeau appearing in Vogue Paris last year would fit into this rule?!