Healthy Model Buzz Progressive or Fashion PR Ploy

skinny modelsAnna Wintour is meeting with nutritionists and Diane von Furstenburg, president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, has called the skinny model debacle a “global fashion issue.” However, not everyone is convinced that the recent press regarding the consequences of promoting near-skeletal bodies on the runway is anything more than a ploy to get more coverage during fashion week.

From here: Internationally acclaimed Toronto hair and makeup artist David Goveia said the move is merely a PR ploy. “The girls who will get into trouble will always get into trouble, whether they’re at a bar in Barrie or on a runway in Milan.”

With the recent deaths of several anorexic models, the fashion industry is in crisis communication mode. Smart PR dictates that in times of crisis, the worst thing to do is hide from the issue. Wintour and von Furstenberg, by participating in the discussion, are practicing standard reputation management. Yes, mainstream media will probably pay a bit more attention to various fashion week’s this year. If the fashion industry is prepared, they will use this opportunity to connect with a wider audience, communicating and responding honestly to media and public inquiry.

I’m not sure what Goveia means by the girls who get into trouble comment – I think it bothers me mostly because the word trouble in his statement doesn’t mean the trouble of having your organs start to eat themselves, but rather the “bad girl” glamorous behavior we attribute – and idealize – about the modeling world. As if girls on the verge of anorexia-induced heart attacks are the same ones dancing on bar tops and living the glamourous life so many girls want to emulate.

About This Author

Known as the “fashion publicist’s most powerful accessory,” (San Diego Union-Tribune) and the “West Coast ‘It’ girl of fashion PR,” (YFS Magazine) Crosby Noricks put fashion public relations on the digital map when she launched PR Couture in 2006. She is the author of Ready to Launch: The PR Couture Guide to Breaking into Fashion PR, available on Amazon. Crosby spends her time managing PR Couture and mentoring fashion publicists through PRISM and Instappable, as well as the biannual NYC workshop, Fashion PR Confidential. Occasionally, she opens up limited consulting spots for emerging brands through her signature offering, The Brand Elixir.