ICYMI: More Perfect Union on the Need for Regulations in $2.5 Trillion Fashion Industry

NY Bill Fashion Workers Act Would Close Loophole Allowing Predatory Management Companies to Exploit Models, Creatives

NEW YORK, NY (03/22/2023) (readMedia)-- Yesterday, a More Perfect Union reported on the need for regulations in the $2.5 trillion fashion industry. The Fashion Workers Act – which passed the Senate Labor Committee before the State Legislative session ended last year – is a piece of pro-labor legislation in New York that would regulate predatory management agencies that currently operate without oversight. The existing lack of regulation leaves a largely young, female, immigrant workforce especially vulnerable to sexual exploitation.


Fashion is a $2.5 trillion global industry, and New York is its center in the U.S. Pre-pandemic, the fashion industry employed 4.6 percent of New York City's workforce, generating nearly $2 billion in tax revenue for the state. Yet, basic labor protections evade the creative workforce behind the industry's success – models, influencers, stylists, makeup artists, hair stylists, and other creative artists.

The Fashion Workers Act would require management agencies to:

  • Accept responsibility to act in the best interests of their talent
  • Pay models and creatives within 45 days of completing a job
  • Provide models and creatives with copies of contracts and agreements
  • Notify former models and creatives if the management collects royalties from a talent they no longer represent
  • Register and deposit a surety bond of $50,000 with the NYS Department of State
  • Conduct reasonable inquiry into health and safety on set

Discontinue bad practices such as

  • Collecting signing fees or deposits from models
  • Charging more than the daily fair market rate for accommodation
  • Deducting any other fee or expense than the agreed upon commission
  • Renewing the contract without the model or creative's affirmative consent
  • Imposing a commission fee greater than twenty percent of the model or creative's compensation
  • Forbid the management company from taking retaliatory action against any model or creative using the bill to file a complaint
  • Forbid the management company or client from engaging in discrimination or harassment any kind against talent on the basis of race, ethnicity, and other legally permissible categories under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, as amended

About the Model Alliance

Founded in 2012, the Model Alliance has been at the forefront of advancing labor rights in the fashion industry for the last decade. Through strategic research, policy initiatives, and campaigns, the Model Alliance aims to promote fair treatment, equal opportunity, and more sustainable practices in the fashion industry, from the runway to the factory floor. The Model Alliance has championed multiple pieces of legislation, including the Child Model Act in New York and the Talent Protections Act in California. The organization also runs the world's only industry-specific support line, MA Support. In 2021, the organization received the first Positive Social Influence Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America at the CFDA Awards.