|How Modelling Has Changed
vogue.co.uk 16 October 2013
YASMIN LE BON believes that there have been serious changes in the modelling industry since the heyday of the supers in the Nineties - specifically on the designers' choice of new faces to open the shows.
"I think that it is wrong that young girls are now opening shows," she said. "It's hyped up as a discovery of the next big thing, but actually the designers are penny-pinching. It's the world's stage and, especially with live streaming, it's global. These young girls don't get paid very much, and they don't have the experience or the confidence to demand to be treated any differently by the industry. It's so different from Christy Turlington or Jerry Hall opening a show with so much experience behind them."
Le Bon was speaking at a student talk at Condé Nast College yesterday, at which she charmed her audience with her self-deprecating humour and a bevy of anecdotes collected over 30 years in the modelling industry. The modelling gene has definitely been passed on to Le Bon's daughter, Amber, who herself has a successful career in the industry. Le Bon said that she let her daughter make her own decisions about modelling when she turned 18.
"She is a level-headed girl. She's a very good photographer and so she gets a lot out of her work," said Le Bon, before adding, "I'm slightly conflicted that a girl so young is earning so much for so little time, but she's from a different time. She didn't have those first few months struggling like I did."
Le Bon commended Vogue's Health Initiative, the pact that was signed last year between 19 international editors of Vogue to encourage healthier attitudes towards body image. She stated, "When a model is criticised for being too big for sample clothes, something is wrong. We were slim [when I first started my career], but there was a little bit more on us, and we were older. This kind of practice doesn't make for good business."
On the contribution of social media to the modelling industry, Le Bon remarked: "We became personalities. People knew us a little bit more than they did before." Asked about the celebrity of young models today, Le Bon said, "Sometimes I think it can be asking too much. But I do think it's a good thing that they are exercising their skills a little bit more [through social media]. I welcome a return to models flexing their muscles, even if they're very little ones."
We couldn't leave without asking Le Bon why she chose to go blonde: "Last year I shaved half of it off, and waiting for it to grow back was boring. I saw Blade Runner for the 1,000th time and I wanted to be Pris."