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Fashion models one step closer to workers rights protections in NYS

Women and men with signs standing behind a woman at microphone
Model Alliance
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Model Alliance
Sara Ziff founded the Model Alliance to protect and advance the rights of fashion industry workers.

The New York State Assembly has approved legislation to protect fashion models from exploitation. Among other things, The Fashion Workers Act will require modeling agencies to make sure their clients’ images are not used without their consent and that they’re paid in a fair and timely manner; it will also increase health and safety protections.

Sara Ziff, founder and director of Model Alliance, which works to protect and advance workers rights, says her organization has tried to tackle issues as they’ve come up, “from exploitative contracts to sexual harassment and abuse.”

However, she said, “it’s often like trying to put a bandaid over a big gaping wound. Despite hearing the same types of complaints over and over again, there’s been a limit to what we can do without having the law on our side.”

Ziff says the legislation does advance workers rights in the fashion industry, but is just one piece of the puzzle.

The legislation is being reviewed by Governor Kathy Hochul.

Bob Beck, a veteran media professional, currently serves as a part-time editor/host at WAER Public Radio and an adjunct professor at Syracuse University. Beck retired as News Director at Wyoming Public Radio in 2022 after 34 years. During his time, Beck won 5 regional Edward R. Murrow awards and 5 Public Media Journalists Association awards for reporting. He also won 11 PMJA awards for the news and public affairs program Open Spaces. He was awarded the Wyoming School Bell award for education reporting and was part of two Emmy Award winning television productions. You can find him on X under the name @butterbob.