New MAKER: Sara Ziff
At the age of 14, Sara Ziff was approached by a model scout on the streets of New York City and lured into the world of fashion. She immediately found herself in high demand, and became overwhelmed with her instant success. She was a teenager, traveling the world to walk the fashion runways, and starring in ad campaigns for high profile brands such as The Gap, Tommy Hilfiger, and Ralph Lauren - among others. Working as a teen model with little emotional, logistical or financial support, had a profound impact on her professional outlook. Ziff realized she wasn't the first teen model to experience these feelings of vulnerability.
In 2009, she and her boyfriend, director Ole Schell released the documentary Picture Me, an inner look at the fashion world. Initially intended to be a video diary of her experiences as a model, it became an exposé on the sinister underbelly of the fashion world and ignorant treatment of young women. The documentary told her story, but it told another tale as well – the mistreatment and abuses of child workers in an unregulated industry.
Since Picture Me, Ziff has dedicated her life to improving the working conditions for models. Ziff has since graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University with a degree in political science. She has also founded Model Alliance, a nonprofit organization that works with major designers and industry leaders to establish fair labor standards within theAmerican fashion industry.