I wrote, 'The Model Manifesto', after working as a fashion model since the age of 13. I had no idea what the job involved and upon moving to London, was scouted and told to lose weight by strangers. I developed eating disorders as a result and after losing the weight, found out that the type of work I was doing didn't pay any money anyway (think - VOGUE)! I also discovered over the last ten years of working that agencies:
- Have models' power of attorney, meaning they can sign them into ANY contract they like. Models retain FULL legal responsibility for decisions they are not making.
- Can and do spend a lot of money on behalf of models, taking this money back from incoming payments.
- Tell models what they are doing the night before every day.
- Can stop you from working if they are unhappy with how you look.
- Can send you abroad to work in foreign countries without even showing you the contract.
- Take a model fee of 25% and an agency fee of 20% (approx), without telling models.
- Can stop models from seeing their contracts.
- Can legally take 3 months to pay models.
These issues extend into the further freelancer industry, and people such as hairdressers, make up artists, dancers, actors and even plumbers are deprived of real control over their work because they have agencies withholding vital information from them or clients who refuse to pay them properly.
Many self-employed freelancers are quickly becoming acknowledged as 'gig-economy workers', especially since cases such as Uber & Pimlico Plumbers. The government is working on a proposal to help these categories of freelancers, but it is unclear and outdated.
With an app to give you the full updates on your industry, allow you to speak to others from the same freelancer industry and swap feedback on your industry, we can effectively unionise ourselves. With new technology comes new workers, and new opportunity to empower ourselves.
If you have ever been exploited, underpaid, waited six months for income you need to pay your rent or feed your children, had work held over your head to pressure you or simply felt frustrated at the lack of power freelancers from Uber drivers to fashion models suffer, this Crowdfunder is for you.
We have started a campaign with The Model Manifesto for models, but we are at a financial loss. The reason no one has stepped up to effectively protect freelancers before is because it is not as profitable as serving those in power. Since speaking out for models rights with the book, I have not been paid any income since September
The time has come for us to come together and serve ourselves.
With any donations you are able to offer, we plan on developing the technology to help freelancers in a holistic way. This will involve consulting with app developers, business consultants and supporting ourselves to survive.