This model agency just became the first to ban fur…
By Charlotte Gush

Linden Staub will no longer send their models to fashion shoots or catwalk shows that involve wearing fur. Here, they tell i-D why they decided to go fur-free.

Ever since their launch in 2016, Linden Staub has been a radical breath of fresh air in the model agency game. Founded by two former model bookers, Esther Kinnear-Derungs and Tara Le Roux, Linden Staub set out to address the major problems they identified after working in a traditional agency. “We launched Linden Staub as the first agency to put model welfare at the forefront of talent management,” Esther and Tara told i-D this morning. Representing a diverse roster in terms of age, ethnicity and gender identity, Linden Staub train their models (who are all self-employed) in accounting, and ensure they are paid the day after a shoot — something that is rare in an industry that often pays models weeks and even months later.

With a mantra of “Empowering Women”, Esther and Tara are leading the way in terms of training and safeguarding their models in an industry that has long come under scrutiny for its poor treatment of models, and has recently seen a number of high-profile abuse allegations. Seeing the benefit of “adopting a sustainable approach in a usually disposable industry,” Esther and Tara say the decision to go fur-free was a “no brainer.”

“Yes, we are alienating ourselves from a few brands who use fur exclusively — but in the same breath it goes against our company morals and ethics.”

“Going fur-free… aligns with our company ethos and is something we wholeheartedly believe in,” they say. “Yes, we are alienating ourselves from a few brands who use fur exclusively,” they admit, “But in the same breath it goes against our company morals and ethics, and in championing this vision, sacrifices have to be made for the greater good.” Plus, their models are totally on board. “The agency is a community and the collective stands as a whole for the right thing. Our talent are completely supportive and super happy about the move,” they say, adding that since the announcement they have also received support from the industry. “We have had wonderful, personal messages of support from Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood and PETA.”

Following big brands including Gucci and Versace in creating a fur-free culture shift in fashion, do they think we’re seeing the beginning of the end for fur in fashion? “Absolutely!” Esther and Tara say. “Decisions like this should not be seen as ‘disruptive’ — doing things to improve our industry should be commonplace, and with every small step we move towards [creating] this culture.” One small step for an already-awesome agency; a giant leap for compassion in fashion.