PARISPARIS (Reuters) - French fashion groups Kering and LVMH will stop hiring excessively thin models on catwalks worldwide in response to criticism the industry encourages eating disorders.
The two groups, whose fashion labels include Christian Dior, Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci, said they had signed a charter for "the well-being of models". The charter also forbids the hiring of girls under the age of 16 to pose as adult models for shows or shoots.
France in 2015 passed legislation outlawing ultra-thin models from working in the country's fashion industry. Fashion agencies face fines of up to 75,000 euros ($89,527.50) or imprisonment of up to six months if they breach the law.
Kering and LVMH said their charter will go further, adding that all their fashion brands commit to banning models below size 34 for women and size 44 for men in French measurements from their casting requirements.
Size 32 in France corresponds to XXS or size 6 in Britain, and size 0 in the United States.
Fashion industry insiders have long said that clothes hang and drape better on tall, androgynous women, while western cultures often associate thinness with wealth, youth and desirability.
In 2010, Isabelle Caro, an anorexic 28-year-old former French fashion model, died after posing for a photographic campaign to raise awareness about the illness.
The charter will come into effect ahead of this month's Fashion Week in Paris.
($1 = 0.8377 euros)
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; editing by Richard Lough and Louise Heavens)