At Forces of Fashion, Iman, Karen Elson, Aurora James, and Pucci’s Camille Miceli on Forging Their Own Path as Woman and Creatives in the Fashion Industry

Now at Pucci, Miceli is centering community, and what could be described as a slow-fashion approach to the Italian label, putting emphasis on the brand’s joyful expression. The most surprising revelation about the new Pucci? All the prints are hand-drawn. “It’s important for Pucci to feel human, and also it brings back the idea of taking your time, which is a good thing. We need to get the time to think and to work deeply.” 

After a lunch break, Elson took the stage with Vogue contributing editor Lynn Yaeger to talk about the important work she’s taken on as an activist for model’s rights. Elson began modeling at age 16 after looking up a local modeling agency in her town’s yellow pages (remember the yellow pages?), her meteoric success while still in her teens—who can forget her Vogue Italia cover by Steven Meisel, with her blunt-cut short bob, no eyebrows, and a bold neon pink eye?—was not without its pitfalls. 

“The moment I became more of a woman, then came the negative feedback about my body,” she detailed. “And for many years, it was something I very much battled with, because I felt the need to conform for my job. If I did not look a certain way, if I was not a size zero, if I went to a fitting and a dress didn’t zip up, there would be horrendous comments I would hear like ‘maybe you should go on a diet.’” Elson was keen to point out that although modeling seems like glamorous job, the bulk of the workforce is made up of vulnerable young women, oftentimes immigrants, who don’t speak the language and do not have agency over the way their image—and by extension they as people—are treated during fashion shoots. She is currently fighting to pass the Fashion Workers Act alongside The Model Alliance, which will grant them similar rights as freelance workers in other industries. Elson concluded the panel by performing a short set—she said she always dreamed of being a famous singer when she grew up. 

Lynn Yaeger and Karen Elson at Vogue’s Forces of Fashion 2022. Sansho Scott/

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