There has been a lot of discussion about what the appropriate age limit is for runway models. According to the CFDA, 16-years-old is the recommended minimum, but legal experts have even suggested extending it to 18. Despite their opinions, Raf Simons debuted a 14-year-old model during his couture Dior presentation.
Even though designers like Marc Jacobs have been criticized for using such young models, Simons had a good reason for having Israeli teen Sofia Mechetner walk in the show. According to The Washington Post, after being discovered at the Dior boutique in Paris, it was revealed that Mechtner had been living in poor conditions, sleeping on a broken bed in a room she shared with her two siblings and single mother in a town outside of Tel Aviv.
The young model is already featured on the French fashion house's website and has signed a $265,000 contract with Dior, which will allow her to finally move and have her own room.