Why Don't Fashion Designers Credit Models?

Why Don't Fashion Designers Credit Models?

I'm an obsessive Instagram user and, as I run an account in the fashion niche, I'm often looking at the pages of big brands. Something has been bothering me for a long while, and it's this: why don't designers tag their models?

When I go to post my runway photography or that of colleagues onto the company Instagram account, I look to tag everyone. Standard logic to me is that the photographer should be credited, the designer whose show they were walking in, then the models, and afterwards, the makeup artist, stylist, and anyone else whose work can directly be seen in the image.

So, why is it that the trend for big fashion brands seems to be including tags for the design house, creative director, makeup artist, accessories designer, casting director, set designer, and so on... but not the model?

Let's take a look around the world and dispel some thoughts about whether this could be a cultural thing. It looks like just plain ignorance...

London Fashion Week Men's (June 2019)

In this post from Iceberg, the following people are tagged: the designer behind the brand, the British Fashion Council (BFC), the brand themselves, and a magazine. Not tagged: the model, Harry Thomas (@harrythomas___).

At Stefan Cooke, we have tags for the photographer, footwear designer, hosiery brand, textiles lab, set designer, show producer, hair stylist, makeup artist, stylist, casting director, and a couple of indeterminate creatives. Missed out are the models, Luke Solo (@lukesolosangster) and Pablo Fernandez (@pvbloo_).

As a counterpoint, here's Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY doing it exactly right. Not only have they tagged the model, but also about 500 other people. That must be everyone who was conceivably involved in the production at a visible level!

Paris Fashion Week Men's/Haute Couture (June/July 2019)

A tag for the designer behind Louis Vuitton's latest collection and nothing else. A little digging reveals that the model is... no, actually, it's impossible to find him from their Instagram page, because they don't allow tagged photos to show up either. They haven't indicated the agencies or casting director responsible, so actual detective work would be required here.

Hermes don't seem to have figured out how tagging works at all yet. The model's identity remains a mystery.


Counterpoint: Lanvin, who tagged models in behind-the-scenes shots, perhaps making up for the fact that they initially posted only videos of the catwalk looks. 

A foray into the most recent womenswear collections: Armani seem happy to credit the photographer, but everyone else is ignored. None of the beautiful models here are tagged.

Milan Fashion Week Haute Couture/Mens (June/July 2019)

Guess how many models were tagged at MSGM? That's right! None at all! It's starting to feel exhausting even trying to track down the identity of these models.

None of Ralph Lauren's images from the Purple Label collection at MFWM are tagged with model names. These posts are followed by images of members of the Lauren family... who are tagged. The models don't appear in their tagged images either, and since it's unrealistic to suggest they wouldn't have posted anything, this means yet another brand who is actively restricting access to their identities.

Fendi provide a counterpoint here, tagging models even when they only appear in video, leading the way!

You may wonder why this matters. Well, call me old-fashioned, but I like to think that people should be credited for their work, especially when, even at the higher echelons of catwalk shows, models can be severely underpaid (or not paid at all), expected to work long days, and treated poorly by staff who see them as walking coat hangers. There's more to go into there, but that's for another article.

Some fashion houses do pay fairly. Some treat their models well. And some give credit where credit's due. Just not all of them, not yet.

So, brands: here's a challenge. Maybe be decent humans once in a while, and consider giving some of that actual "exposure" that so many of your models are paid in and tag them. It takes your social media manager roughly three seconds, but it might make a big difference to a young model's career.

Log in or register to post comments
Deleted Account's picture

Why doesn't Fstoppers credit the original content creator in its headlines rather than burying the credit below the line? Asking for a friend.

Scott Spellman's picture

You are missing the sole reason for commercial work-to benefit the Client. The Client pays to execute a shoot for its own benefit and does not need to be encumbered with keeping track of credits or any data that does not directly lead to sales. It does not matter if it is fashion, cars, refrigerators, or rubber bands. Everyone on the team trades payment for their work They know the terms and are free to work elsewhere if they do not get it. For amateurs, social media fashion is for fans and favors for friends. For Corporate Fashion Brands it is business, and its purpose is to generate sales and hype.

Logan Cressler's picture

Exactly, when was the last time you saw Rob Grimm credited in a Budweiser ad? No one gets credit in commercial work, at most you get to put it up on your own personal website, and a healthy paycheck.

Anthony CHAPITEAU's picture

Then why the movies don't give credits in the trailer, i mean the whole list? When you have watched the movie, you have already paid for the product, you're not watching an ad anymore
And how many people stay to watch the credits , i mean really read it, instead of just wating for the post-credit scene?

Pierre Dasnoy's picture

1st : The actors are part of the add for a movie, you may go see the last Tarantino because of Leonardo Dicaprio and Brad Pit playing in it.
2nd : Contracts are different : everyone working in a movie has "part of his pay" in exposure. Which, at that level, is not trivial.

Logan Cressler's picture

Why is that dude wearing luggage?

Deleted Account's picture

I hope it can carry camera kit, otherwise, dealbreaker

Logan Cressler's picture

Marketing tip of the day, people will buy anything, if it is expensive enough. I am going to start selling the emperors new clothes.

mark wilkins's picture

WTF is that thing on his back? If someone hired me to shoot a model with luggage stuck to his body and a leather kite on his back...I think I'd walk out of the room.

Logan Cressler's picture

I would shoot it and cash the check. Fuck do I care what they are wearing if the money is right?

mark wilkins's picture

Yea...Id prob take the money. But I'd drink afterwards.

Logan Cressler's picture

Quality and quantity are rarely the same thing. I am hesitant to believe that designing kite clothing and luggage shirts contributes to making the world a better place for future generations, or help too many people at all in any way.

Chad Andreo's picture

So good!

user 65983's picture

Hahahahaha yup. So true when it comes to commercial photography. Or any paid photography for that matter.

Jonathan Brady's picture

I read for about 60 seconds trying my very best to give a very small fraction of €~¢√ about fashion or even understand why anyone does... I have to admit that my attempt resulted in complete and utter failure. It seems to me that it's an industry the world would be just fine without. Possibly even better off without.

mark wilkins's picture
Jared Ribic's picture

I wonder if it would help to have that information provided in advance?
They already know which models will wear which designs as well as the order in which they will walk (unless something goes wrong and they need to change up the order).

But as mentioned in other comments, the designers are paying for this and it's their choice to credit the models or not. As a photographer I would appreciate a list in order to metatag the images with everyone involved. Tough to do if that information isn't organized and provided in advance.

C Fisher's picture

Probably because they're viewed as fancy moving clothes hangers and not humans

Mike Dixon's picture

If you were wearing those hideous clothes would you want everyone to know? Most of these fashion designers are a joke. It's like they're all participating in an inside joke about who can make the dumbest outfit and still pass it off with a straight face.

Mike Dochterman's picture

fashion models are clothes hangers.... if one pays too much attention to the model, one pays not enough attention to the product

Charles J's picture

From what I gather models aren't credited because they're not part of the creative process, nor do they walk exclusively for a single design house. Agencies book models for multiple shows and are treated interchangeably - a model cannot show so another of the same "type" is sent in her stead.