Justice

The Age of This Model Is Causing Major Controversy

October 15th 2015

By:
Laura Donovan

Fourteen-year-old Israeli model Sofia Mechetner has a lot to be proud of. As the face of Dior, she recently opened the brand's show at Paris Fashion Week.

 

A photo posted by @sofi8937 on

While this made for an awesome career milestone, Sofia's rise to fame has caused tension in the fashion world, with some designers and industry insiders saying that nobody should be allowed to model until age 16, which is the minimum age requirement for London Fashion Week models.

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Sofia, who grew up in poverty and previously cleaned houses with her mother to earn money, has taken a stand against critics who don't want her strutting down the runway, stating that she knows what she's doing and surrounds herself with those who look after her.

"I feel ready and I am not alone, I am being looked after, closely," she said in a recent interview, according to the Daily Mail. "They are treating me really nicely here ... They help me. So the fact that I am 14 years old is not really an issue."

Caroline Nokes, the chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image, has voiced concerns over the exploitation of young girls in fashion.

"We want to protect young people from what can be a very exploitative industry," she said. "To have young people being photographed provocatively - the industry really has to clean up as inevitably others will follow suit."

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British model Neelam Gill said the intense workload that comes with modeling might be too much for young girls as well.

"I think you should start modeling at 18," Gill said. "I cannot imagine going all around the world on your own. It would be so much pressure."

Sofia's agent Rotem Gur, of course, holds a different view of the matter.

"Before she started with Dior, she was cleaning houses with her mother," Gur said. "So if she is not too young to clean houses, I don't think she is too young to walk on a show."

Sofia also isn't alone in entering fashion before age 16. Model Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell did the same thing many years ago, and 16-year-old Lily-Rose Depp is currently a model for Chanel eyewear. Karl Lagerfeld feels that Sofia and Lily-Rose are where they are meant to be.

"The public wants to see [clothes] on girls like this," he said in a recent interview. "They can identify even if it's not the same age group. That's the girls of the moment. Fashion is about the moment."

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