Just when we thought eating disorders and sexual abuse were the biggest issues in fashion modeling, here comes the Chinese arrest of more than 60 models for working illegally under tourist visas in the country.
According to recent reports, last Thursday, over 60 models were taken into custody, and 4 officially arrested, after Beijing police staged a fake casting call at the Chinese agency M3. We can only assume that the agency also represents some of the models in question and possibly cooperated with the police to avoid accessorizing handcuffs with the guilty models, who will most likely be deported.
Other reports suggest there has also been a crackdown with models arrested in Guangzhou after the addresses of model apartments were disclosed to officials.
To legally work in a foreign country, a working permit would need to be obtained. But, as Style.com explained, “Here in the U.S., many fresh faces have gotten their big breaks during New York fashion week before having acquired proper working visas. But those types of girls are often placed with major agencies of international repute, which generally go the extra mile to ensure their models are accounted for with appropriate international visas.”
So, it may be a matter of eager girls and shady agencies who are willing to take the risk—on the model’s behalf, of course—to knowingly recruit them for work under visitor visas. Either way, China’s crackdown is a warning to all international models to have their papers in order because, like most big moments in fashion, this is sure to start a trend.