Founded in 2008 by model Erin O'Connor, the Model Sanctuary is an initiative that appears during every London Fashion Week to provide support, stability and advice to those on the catwalk, who we often naively assume are extremely self-confident and happy. The thing is, their industry is sadly often too closely linked to the media's unattainable beauty ideals, which can be unhealthy and unsustainable - I'm talking diets of coffee and cigarettes, little sleep and a negative self-image. What the Model Sanctuary can offer is anything from yoga classes to psychological and nutritional therapy. It's all about improving the lives of people who actually don't earn mega-bucks and don't live an utterly glamorous life all the time - they just partake in it as part of their job, and they are often only teenagers. When they get rejected at castings they are still just as vulnerable as the rest of us, if not more so, because their body is their livelihood.
I think it's really important that the Model Sanctuary continues to do its good work, which is why I was disappointed to read that O'Connor is struggling to find a premises for the A/W 2012-13 Fashion Week this February as the normal location has already been rented out. It would be such a disappointment if the service had to be reduced or drastically altered to accomodate a smaller or less private space. Here's hoping that a suitable building can be found.