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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 September 2006, 22:35 GMT 23:35 UK
Milan models to have catwalk code
By Mark Duff
BBC News, Milan

Catwalk model (archive)
Milan models will have to carry a medical certificate
Italy's fashion capital, Milan, has announced a new catwalk code of conduct to protect young models vulnerable to anorexia and exploitation.

The move follows the ban slapped on so-called skinny models by the Spanish government earlier this month.

The new code was launched as the city marked the start of Milan fashion week and will take effect in February.

This fashion week opened with a parade of more shapely women, specially dressed by designer Elena Miro.

Anorexia 'phenomenon'

This curtain-raiser to Milan fashion week was a sign of things to come.

Speaking at the show, the city official in charge of coordinating the new code of conduct - and promoting the city's fashion industry - said it sent out a clear message that Milan was not prepared to tolerate the exploitation of vulnerable young women with their hearts set on a modelling career.

"We will work together with modelling agencies, with the chamber of commerce for fashion and with doctors to ensure that - above all - modelling agencies and stylists do not favour this phenomenon of anorexia."

Milan's first woman mayor, Letizia Moratti, has backed the campaign to ban anorexic-looking models.

Under Milan's new code, which is due to come into force in time for the next fashion week, in February, models will have to carry a medical certificate showing they are healthy.

In addition, younger, school-age models will have to be accompanied by a tutor or guardian.

The new code also aims to ban rogue, unlicensed, modelling agencies that trap young women into trading sex for hopes, rarely fulfilled, of a life in fashion.

Models at the Milan fashion week

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