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Marc Jacobs: Let Them Eat Cake!

06 March 2012, 13.47 | Posted in Models, Runway Show | 2 comments »

 Marc Jacobs: Let Them Eat Cake!

It was revealed yesterday on Jezebel that 17-year old model Haisley Hasbrook worked as a fit and runway model for Marc Jacob’s show for “trade,” in other words she received clothes not dollars for her time. (Jezebel picked up the story from Hasbrook’s Tumblr, where it looks like her original diary on Fashion Week has been removed, replaced by an entry in which she expresses horror over the coverage.) The story was picked on on multiple blogs and Marc Jacobs responded on Twitter (see above) in a way that came across as tone deaf to the extreme given his known wealth:

“Models are paid in trade. If they don’t want to work w us they don’t have to.”

As we speak, the industry–in particular modeling–is once again being slammed for its evil ways. And of course the story is much more complex than young girls being exploited (not that that doesn’t happen!). In the case of Marc Jacobs, trade might actually be a better deal than the minimum wage the girls would be paid. Still, you can’t build a budget on designer bags and dresses and landlords usually don’t accept clothing for payment.

In general, however, there is more intense focus on fashion precisely because it involves young, pretty girls–the ultimate hot button, traffic driver. The truth is, fashion isn’t the only business that swindles its young. Interning, aka working for free, is commonplace in many industries. Even if you accept the conceit of interning, in truth it’s a practice that works just fine for those who have a financial support system but does a great job of keeping the job door shut for young people who come from poor or working class families and can’t work for free.

But as exploitation relates to this particular story, it would be great to see the CFDA which has issued model guidelines do more to protect all its workers.  And given his unwillingness to even pretend to play along, perhaps CFDA board membership isn’t the best fit for Marc Jacobs at this point in time.


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» Marc Jacobs ‘Jack [Off] Of All Shades’ Sunglasses
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2 comments
  1. Jillian:

    Unfortunately for Haisley, bartered goods ARE taxable as income.

  2. I would trade those clothes in for money at a consignment store. lol

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