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AS DETAILED IN BEST-SELLING INVESTIGATIVE BOOK “SHADOWLAND”—Inside The Fashion World’s Dark Underbelly Of Sexual And Financial Exploitation: ‘Modeling Agencies Are Like Pimps For Rich People’

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“The modeling industry really does in some cases rise to the level of trafficking — labor trafficking and sex trafficking,” says former model Sara Ziff, who founded the Model Alliance in 2012 to promote fair treatment for those who serve as the face of the industry. “This lack of transparency, the power imbalance, the vulnerability of these mostly young, immigrant women, it’s a recipe for exploitation. In the early stages of doing this work, I refrained from using the language of trafficking because it felt too extreme. But that’s what it is.” NEXT co-founder Faith Kates, who once counted Epstein cohort Jean-Luc Brunel as among the agency’s key investors, started the Coalition for Fairness in Fashion and hired the powerful Albany lobbying firm Bolton-St. John to fight the bill. (Brunel, who died last year in a Paris prison while facing charges that he raped minors, was the subject of a “60 Minutes” investigation back in 1988 in which models claimed they were routinely drugged and raped.) Model Kenny Sale notes that some of the parties coming out against the bill are “the people who ignored the Jeffrey Epstein [accusations],” referring to a report that Epstein frequently visited the NEXT offices in New York and donated to Kates’ charities. “They took [Brunel’s] money, and those are the same people advocating against this bill.” (Says Wilkenfeld: “I didn’t know Jeffrey Epstein. I never had anything to do with Jeffrey Epstein. And I never saw [Brunel] inappropriate with anybody.” Kates did not respond to a request for comment for this article. But in 2019, Kates’ attorney denied that his client had any business or financial relationship with Epstein and added that… (READ MORE)

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