When is a girl considered too young for fashion?

Monday June 18th, 2012 by


It is no secret that the fashion industry is obsessed with youth. Younger looking models have been marketed like crazy over the last few years making older women aspire to youth. But when is a girl considered too young for the fashion industry?

Milla Jovovic, who started modeling at 12 years-old

Some teenage girls are becoming real icons in fashion. They sit front row in Fashion Week catwalks and are contributing editors for some fashion magazines making all of us wander… “aren’t they way too young for this?” The fashion industry says “no!”.

Here are two girls who are turning heads in fashion for all the good and bad reasons:

Tavi Gevinson

Tavi Gevinson

Tavi is now 16, but when her name started to pop out in fashion she was only 11! 5 years ago, she founded a fashion blog named “The Style Rookie” which got her to become the most famous up and coming fashion blogger in the industry. At the age of 13 she attended New York Fashion Week as special guest and just two years later she founded “Rookie Magazine”.

"The Style Rookie" Fashion & Style Blog by Tavi

Tavi sees herself as “tiny 13 year old dork that sits inside all day wearing awkward jackets and pretty hats” -and her awkward jackets and pretty hats were immediately spotted by top stylists of the industry, including Katy Grand, who styled and featured Tavi in several magazines including Love, Pop and L’Officiel.

Tavi featured in the cover of L'Officiel, October 2011

Teenager Tavi already contributed as writer, photographer and stylist to many magazines such as Pop, Love and Spur and has also done a collaboration with Rodarte for a video production with the objective to promote their new collection for Target -collection for which Tavi designed two garments!

Tavi says about her rise in fashion: “Fashion, as an industry, has been really behind on being online and so I think people were confused and angry that someone younger than them had kind of figured it out. You know, they would talk about how inappropriate it was for someone my age to be at fashion week, but this is coming from an industry that fetishizes youth.”  Can we blame her?

Duda Bundchen

Duda Bundchen, 5 years-old

This gorgeous 5 year old brazilian angel has fashion in her DNA. Niece of another Angel, Gisele Bundchen, Duda surely has a long way to go in the industry! Already a year ago she jumped into full-time modeling for brazilian children’s brand Brandili Mundi and is now reported to start a collaboration with the brand for the production of her very own fashion collection!

Duda Bundchen for Brandili Mundi

Duda's Collection Sketches

Duda at Work!

But how can a 5 year old collaborate with a brand for the design and production of a collection? Germano Costa, commercial and marketing director of the brand told Forbes: “She told us about her preferences on prints, cuts and details, and based on the briefing we received from her we came up with a collaborative collection, the pieces were all approved by Duda, whose romantic inspiration will no doubt catch girls’ eyes.”

Duda Bundchen resembling Gisele

The 5 year old model will apparently receive a percentage of the revenue sales of the collection, and a portion of the income will be given to a brazilian charity working with children with special needs. Duda’s parents are said to keep a close eye on the kid, and are trying to protect her as much as they can for now. One thing is for sure, having a supermodel in the family already gives parents some awareness of the social issues their child could come across as a model, and this can be an advantage for them and their daughter.

However, girls entering the fashion scene too young is a great concern nowadays. If older supermodels are having or had issues related with their early success, how are these young girls going to take it? Unfortunately all we have to do is wait and see..

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