Aspiring models that inquire about talent management services such as those offered at Models Direct may have heard of Nigerian born Yomi Abiola. Yomi is not only a successful model who contributes to Vogue Italia, but she is also a serious activist who concentrates on ethical issues. She has worked in the past on such concerns under the control of UNESCO, the UN’s organization on cultural equality and awareness.
Driven by her passion for ethical rights and her experience in bringing them to fruition, Yomi has created the organization Stand Up For Fashion, or STUFF, which strives to better the global fashion industry by improving working conditions, fighting the exploitation of underage models, promoting fair labour practices, and further promoting model diversity through fair talent management.
This important fashion industry initiative created by Yomi was launched on Wednesday, October 24 in New York where talks will begin in the spring of 2013. It will kick off with a series of meetings where the above issues will be discussed by representatives of various sectors of the fashion industry. According to Yomi, this is a rare gathering because most meetings amongst those controlling the fashion industry are to display creations at fashion shows or rub elbows at fashion parties where such real issues are seldom addressed.
Models Direct discuss that STUFF will attempt to incite the subject of “true beauty” and what constitutes such a term. With today’s technology and public hunger for “perfect” models, most of the photos of models in fashion magazines are airbrushed and utilize very young models. The founder of the high-end website CEO AHAlife, Shauna Mei, supports Yomi’s initiative on addressing this issue. She acknowledges that practically every other industry meets to discuss pressing issues, but the fashion industry continuously ignores them, desiring to focus only on the creating of fashion.
Sara Ziff, another supporter of STUFF and founder of Model Alliance which also works towards the improvement of model working conditions, agrees. She applauds Yomi’s efforts at establishing a working forum where improving the standards of labour and practices that are environmentally friendly, as well as other important fashion industry issues, are discussed in earnest.
Those who are just getting started or are up and coming in the competitive fashion industry, such as with the talent management professionals at Models Direct, can take hope that their experiences will be better than their predecessors. Yomi Abiola’s Stand Up For Fashion initiative may just pave the way for better and brighter modelling careers.