Yes, I know Anna Wintour spoke at Harvard last night.
Yes. Michael Kors too.
And yes, that was Natalia Vodianova with them.
No. I wasn't there.
That was pretty much how all of my conversations went today.
For those Bostonian's privilleged enough to attend (I noticed that a lot of the best Boston bloggers didn't attend so I won't take my lack of invite personally...) Anna directed a conversation about the CFDA's Health Initiative to discourage eating disorders in models.
As far as I can tell the presentation was no different than the past two New York CFDA Health Initiative panels. Anna discusses what can be done, famous American designer pledges to change their ways and abide by the CFDA guidelines, and then an available supermodel confesses to self-doubt/cruel casting directors/eating disorder/glorious recovery/now working successfully on their own terms.
Michael Kors recounted hiring an "It" model for a runway show without a casting only to immediately call her agency when she arrived- the poor girl's back was badly bruised along her spine. She was so unhealthy that her own spine was actually bruising her from the inside. Kors also focused on the age of models by pledging not to hire girls under the age sixteen because, “We need to give these girls a chance to grow up.”
Michael, I'm 24 and not grown up--I can't imagine that pressure at 16. But at least he's trying.
Finally, Natalia spoke about her own experiences as a model- the lack of support for girls arriving in foreign cities, the temptations of a "glamorous" lifestyle, and the insensitive comments and "suggestions" of designers, casting directors and stylists.
But I found Natalia's comments the most poignonent because we all know that eating disorders are rarely about being thin-even in the fashion industry.
"(In modeling) it is very hard to have a feeling of stability. Anorexia is sometimes the only form of control the girls have to contribute to their career.”