Ziff, who has more than a decade on the runway and has served as the face of Tommy Hilfiger, Banana Republic and Stella McCartney, has enlisted some of her famous model friends, including Shalom Harlow, Doutzen Kroes and Coco Rocha, one of the first to speak frankly about eating disorders in the trade.
Ziff, 29, also has the support of the powerful Council of Fashion Designers of America. The trade group gave her fledgling nonprofit a boost when it issued its annual pre-Fashion Week plea to designers and model wranglers to keep photographers at bay when models are changing backstage and to keep girls under 16 off the runways by checking identification.
It’s not the first attempt to improve the working conditions of models. A union, The Models Guild, was founded in 1995 along the lines of the Screen Actors Guild, but it faltered a few years later for lack of members.
Ziff’s alliance isn’t a union but an effort to persuade models to take control in an industry where they’re often treated as a commodity.