The women fighting prejudice in the fashion industry

By Hannah Moore
Newsbeat reporter

image copyrightDaisy Walker
image captionDaisy Walker

Daisy Walker became a photographer to try and change the way women are viewed in fashion.

Now she's part of a growing campaign to get people sharing their experiences of abuse in the industry, through her group Women in Fashion.

"It really is dog-eat-dog in that environment," she says. "I'm trying to make it kinder."

She, along with fashion models, tell Newsbeat why change needs to happen.

image copyrightDaisy Walker
image captionDaisy's photography features a diverse range of models

"Most of the photographers backstage are male and older, and I was treated really badly by a specific photographer," says the 27-year-old.

"He grabbed my camera and tried to throw it across the room, and accused me of using my gender to try and get the best shot because I was the only woman there.

"I was verbally and physically abused purely for having that job."

image copyrightDaisy Walker

Daisy, who works with designers like Vivienne Westwood, J. W. Anderson and Topshop, says it's a common story among young people in the industry.

But it wasn't until this year, when model Cameron Russell started #MyJobShouldNotIncludeAbuse, that the world finally got to hear about the serious problems happening.

As part of the online campaign, models told anonymously how they had been sexually abused, harassed and even raped.

image copyrightFern Bain Smith/ Brian Daly/ Instagram
image captionModel Fern Bain Smith

Women in Fashion is confidential too, with group meetings in London once a month.

"My naivety was definitely taken advantage of when I was starting out at 17," says model Fern Bain Smith.

"Like a guy on set 10 years my senior buying me booze and cigarettes and taking me out after the shoot.

"And I've had photographers manhandling me multiple times."

Model Linda Ellen Mangold says Women in Fashion offers support in an industry that often feels isolating.

"You obviously hear models say 'I'm too fat, I have to lose weight because this person told me because they can influence my career'," says the 18-year-old.

"Or like once I was getting changed on set and the stylist came up to me, looked at my boobs and was like 'Oh did you get a boob job?' and I was like 'I'm 16, no I didn't', and she kept going on about it.

"I felt really intimidated, having somebody older speaking about my body in a way I had no control over."

image copyrightDaisy Walker

The industry has recently taken note and launched a helpline for models to report harassment at work.

"Luckily I've got a really amazing agency who are really protective of their models," says Fern.

"I have the capacity to say no to things that I'm not comfortable with, but I haven't always been like that.

"You need to be strong in yourself, know your rights, and know that it's not going to cost you your job."

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