London, England, United Kingdom (AHN) – A call by Italian fashion brand Gucci for its models to fly to Milan for early fittings for it Spring/Summer 2012 show has caused havoc during London Fashion Week.
Gucci asked the models, who were also participating in the bi-annual event in England’s capital city, to leave for Milan on Saturday to meet creative director Frida Giannini. Those initially selected were expected to return on Saturday for a second round of casting while the final cast is required to show up on Monday for fittings.
The sudden summons came close to the opening of London Fashion Week and angered model agencies based in the city. The agencies threatened not to participate in London’s next season unless the British Fashion Council reorganizes its London schedule and steps in to prevent apparent bullying tactics by New York and Milan fashion week organizers.
Among the fashion houses affected by the model shortage are Todd Lynn, Erdem, Michael Van Der Ham, Temperley, Aquascutum and Louise Gray. The houses said they lost 10 of 19 models who had confirmed their participation but didn’t appear for fittings or who called their agencies from Milan.
The battle for models is tighter in London with 11 designers battling for the same women, while only two or three fashion shows are held each day in New York, Paris and Milan.
A casting agent said it would not blame the London agents for the model supply problem because the city could not compete with big money advertising from New York, Milan and Paris.
Some models avoid London because of low pay and stressful work conditions despite the city being named this year as the world’s top fashion capital by Global Fashion Monitor.
Premier models founder Carole White said that London model rates have remained stuck at 1983 rates, which is a fraction of what they receive on modeling assignments in other fashion capitals.
London designers pay as little as $150 (£100) per show for new designers, while the pay for bigger designers could range from $750 to $7,500 (£500 to 5,000). In contrast, the pay in Milan and Paris fashion shows could reach up to $15,000 (£10,000).