You may remember when the Madrid fashion industry placed a ban on underweight models. We had put the future of our label, MaraJoara, at risk after pushing ahead with plans to use “everyday size 8-12 Australians” in our catwalk show against the advice of Australian Fashion Week organisers.

One popular fashion magazine responded by deleting coverage of our show – others celebrated. MaraJoara arrived home to overwhelming fan mail from the Australian public, buyers demanding their range and invitations from Fashion Week organisers around the world.

Two days after our show Madrid placed a ban on underweight models. In recent weeks Italy’s Youth Ministry and the Italian Chamber of Fashion signed a self regulating industry code to ban models younger than 16 and ensure medical certificates are provided attesting that the “too skinny” models are healthy; to encourage designers to put healthy models on the catwalks, without favouring the currently dominating 38s (Australian size 6).

Now we have heard that the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) has also taken action. The council has issued new guidelines to protect models who are too thin. The US fashion industry is planning to begin a campaign of awareness and education to help create an atmosphere that supports the well being of the models. NY opened their show with models of all different shapes and sizes and the models even replaced their “Pony Walk” with a new walk to make thin silhouettes look more curvaceous.

It was amazing to be in in Paris, London and BiH with other Designers. I don’t think any of us want to promote unhealthy images on the runways. Any awareness or education campaigns in our industry to support self esteem and body confidence can only be positive steps in the right direction.

We have just returned from showcasing in Eastern Europe as the Guest International Designer at Sarajevo Fashion Week where three Miss World Bosnia’s, FTV Model of the World and Bosnia Top Model showcased a healthy body image with MaraJoara on the runway.

With the growth of our online store, a flourishing wholesale store in Ipanema and overwhelming support internationally it appears that we are destined for green pastures.

MaraJoara launch our Spring/Summer 2007/2008 Collection at Star City on the 3rd April at 2pm.

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