At the New York Public Library’s event ‘Close-Up on Grace Coddington’ this week, Grace Coddington, Vogue’s Creative Director, expressed concerns over the fashion industry's attachment to very young, thin models, in an intimate conversation with former Men's Vogue Editor-in-Chief, Jay Fielden.
Coddington, a former model on the sixties London scene, said “It is a big problem. I remember when I was young, they told me that if I didn't lose weight I'd be out of the show, so I spent a week living off of coffee. But I'm a very levelheaded person. These problems nowadays are with kids much, much younger than that, and that's most of the problem; when they're very young and vulnerable.”
When asked why fashion editors couldn't unite on a healthier size for models, Coddington replied: “They have to be a little thinner than you and I because you always photograph a little fatter, but you don’t have to go to the extremes they go to. And because they're kids, they take it too far, and they can't regulate their lives, and next thing you know they're anorexic, and it is tragic. And I don't know what the answer is, except to keep on it, which we're all trying to do. Anna's trying to do it,” she said, as Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief, Anna Wintour, looked on from the back of the room. “Personally we're not allowed, at Vogue, to work with girls who are very thin, but you never know, because you could book them and think they're a certain size, and they turn up on the shoot and suddenly they've spun into this anorexic situation. And you're on the spot and you have to get the job done and you have one day to do it, and what do you do? But you try to be responsible, as Anna is,” added Coddington, who, by all accounts, is a seminal figure in the fashion industry.