Former 'Vogue' Editor Debuts Fashion Industry Book
By Robert Pace
Last May, Kirstie Clements was relieved of her position as an editor for Vogue Australia and now is revealing a behind-the-scenes look at what she views as the darker side of the fashion industry. ET recently caught up with Clements to discuss her book -- The Vogue Factor -- as well as her experiences as a Vogue editor.
One of the topics covered in the book is the industry's obsession with thin models, which sometimes results in women developing eating disorders. Clements alleges that she became aware of a practice by some models who ate tissue paper in order to feel full while dieting. She said she felt compelled to expose the problem of eating disorders that she discovered during her 25 years with Vogue.
"It's not every model, but there are certainly parts of the industry where you will see that girls have got eating disorders," Clements said. "They're normally required to lose a great deal of weight to actually get into those sample sizes that you'll see on those international runways, and that's where you start to see trouble happening."
Clements emphasized that while not all fashion models engage in unhealthy weight-loss practices, she believes that casting directors and modeling agencies put a lot of pressure on many women to be thin to be able to compete in the industry. "I think it's essentially from the casting for the shows, whether that's casting directors, designers, stylists, editors. There's a pretty small pool of very influential people that dominate the fashion arena worldwide," she noted.
Clements said that she personally was never approached by a model who disclosed an eating disorder to her, so the information used in the book stems from accounts involving others in the fashion industry.
The former editor does say that she experienced some guilt by working in the business. "I did consider myself to be part of the problem, to tell you the truth," Clements admits. "I felt that that everybody was complicit in it. ... As an editor, as a woman as a mother, I would make my judgment calls as the models passed me...as to whether I felt that they were too thin...and you had to make that call every single day, but yes, the industry is complicit in some of these areas, definitely."