5 Ways the Model Alliance is Making the Modeling World a Better Place

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The Model Alliance is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the health, welfare, and safety of models working in the United States. It was founded in 2012 by model Sara Ziff, and thanks to the support of top models (including Coco Rocha, Doutzen Kroes, Milla Jovovich and Shalom Harlow) as well as modeling agencies, photographers, makeup artists, fashion organizations, and a whole host of other industry vets, the Model Alliance has brought real and lasting change to the fashion industry as a whole.

Here are just a few of the Model Alliance’s many outstanding contributions:

Bill of Rights

Model Alliance founder Sara Ziff has said that people are often “blinded by the glamour” of the fashion industry. So to empower models to demand fair treatment from agencies and clients, the Model Alliance drafted a Models’ Bill of Rights detailing professionalism, transparent accounting practices, career control, negotiable commissions, and specific rights for models under the age of 18.

Confidential Support

The modeling industry is largely unregulated, and sometimes models do find themselves in tricky situations. That’s why the Model Alliance offers a free and confidential support system for its members who are dealing with any unlawful or unwanted attention or abuse, such as inappropriate on-the-job conduct, agent issues, or other work related problems. In conjunction with executives from the Actors’ Equity Association and the American Guild of Musical Artists, Model Alliance Support can advise models of their rights and assist them in finding legal counsel if necessary.


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Backstage Privacy

Many new models are surprised by the sheer number of backstage photographers at fashion shows. It can be overwhelming and exhausting to constantly be photographed, not to mention invasive. No model wants to go online and see an unauthorized photo of themselves changing clothes.

These concerns are exactly why the Model Alliance introduced a Backstage Privacy Policy. It encourages a more professional and respectful work environment for models by allowing them to change in peace. The policy recommends that as soon as the “first looks” are called, the show’s producers should ensure the backstage changing area is free from photographers and any other unnecessary persons until the show has ended. 

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Protection for Child Models

Did you know that until November 20th 2013, child models were not considered child performers by the State of New York? And that in turn, they were excluded from the New York State Department of Labor’s regulations governing the protection of child performers? True story, and one the Model Alliance set out to change.

The Model Alliance championed the Child Model Law in New York and scored a big victory when the law officially passed. Now, models under the age of 18 are overseen by the Department of Labor and are given the protections they deserve, such as mandatory financial trusts, restricted working hours, regulated breaks, and the presence of chaperones and tutors on set. 

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Access to Affordable Health Care

Health care is a huge concern for workers across America, and the modeling industry is no exception. Many models lack affordable health care, which is especially troubling given their long hours, nomadic lifestyles, and physical pressures.

The Model Alliance researched many health care options before deciding to partner with the Retail Action Project (RAP). As a Model Alliance member, you can make a free appointment with a RAP Health Care Access Navigator to determine if you qualify for free or low-cost health insurance through the New York State of Health Marketplace. Your Navigator will shop around and compare the costs of several plans to determine which one is right for you!

Want to learn more about the Model Alliance? Check out the Model Alliance website for everything you need to know, from their services and supporters to must-read articles and upcoming events.
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