Tamara Mellon Offers Strict Solution to Help Curb Harassment in Fashion Industry

John Salangsang/BFA.com

Says the fashion insider: "It’s a very dangerous industry for young girls so that's why I would put an age limit on it."

Sexual harassment is not unique to Hollywood, and as the conversation widens to include other industries, the fashion business remains not far from the center of this crucial dialogue about how women are treated in and out of the workplace. 

That is in part thanks to those who are lifting the veil by speaking out or working to enact change. That list includes Christy Turlington Burns (who told WWD that the fashion industry is "surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experienced at some point in our careers") and now New York State Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (who has drafted legislation that aims to protect models in the fashion industry against a similar kind of abuse at the hands of those in power). 

When Pret-a-Reporter caught up with Tamara Mellon at Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills, the Jimmy Choo founder who at one time collaborated on the Harvey Weinstein-funded effort to revive the Halston brand, offered another solution to curb the mistreatment of models. 

"My take is that I would actually ban any girls under 18 from modeling," said Mellon, fresh from participating on a Women's Brain Health Initiative panel alongside Sharon Stone, Melanie Griffith, Crystal Lourd and Dr. Pauline Maki. "They are not psychologically or emotionally prepared. Nobody needs skin, face or body that is under 18 — 18 is perfectly young enough. It’s a very dangerous industry for young girls so that's why I would put an age limit on it." (The minimum age for runway models recommended by the Council of Fashion Designers of America is 16, though some models start their career earlier.) 

Mellon, who is knee-deep in her own Tamara Mellon brand, wasn't just providing lip service. She has a dedicated focus to fighting for women's rights and causes, and has made that a mission of the new company. "We have a wide umbrella," she continued. "During the year we do different projects focused on anything to do with women — from breast cancer to equal pay — we're always doing something special."