Diane von Furstenberg Apologizes for Using 15-Year-Old Model on Runway

Hailey Clauson DVF Fall 2011 runway
Photo: Getty Images
Hailey Clauson on the DVF Fall 2011 runway

Diane von Furstenberg has publicly apologized for accidentally allowing 15-year-old model Hailey Clauson to walk in her Fall 2011 show. A letter sent today from von Furstenberg to members of the press reads:

Dear Colleagues and Designers,

I hope you are all resting from NY Fashion Week and that you are having great results from buyers and press.

As you remember, I sent you all a letter prior to the shows, emphasizing healthy models and diversity, and reminding you of our Health Guidelines.

One of the guidelines, as you know, is not to hire models under 16 in addition to making sure that all of them are properly fed.

Well, it is to my horror that I discovered last Friday that in spite of me repeating that to my production and casting people, one girl slipped through the cracks. One girl who will be 16 in March walked my show last week!

I was horrified and terribly embarrassed. From now on I will instruct my casting people to demand IDs. I encourage you to do the same.

Please accept my apology. I am trying to be a good leader and set an example … so please please accept my apology.

Love to you all.

Diane von Furstenberg

Von Furstenberg, who is the president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, has been outspoken about model health in the past, and the CFDA’s recent guidelines state that models under the age of 16 should not be hired for runway shows, and models under the age of 18 should not be allowed to work past midnight at fittings or photo shoots.