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Yesterday, models officially launched a non-profit group to look out for their rights within the fashion industry. Sara Ziff, who has been working on shoots since she was 14, founded Model Alliance as a way to protect young models from being exploited both sexually and financially.
As board member and Jezebel fashion writer Jenna Sauers points out, it's a cause that risks not being taken terribly seriously. But while basic facts of model life—like getting paid in clothes—might sound glamorous, being a model still generally means being under-compensated and powerless in a big, money-generating industry.
Ziff's group already has some well-placed help. The CFDA offered her advice on starting the organization, and CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg has signed on to promote a rule clearing backstage areas of photographers and hangers-on when models are changing.
· Models form rights group ahead of New York Fashion Week [Reuters]