Newsletter

Stay up to date with the latest from MAKERS delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for new stories from trailblazing women, a big dose of inspiration, and exclusive MAKERS content.

Newsletter Confirmation

Thank you for joining! Please check your inbox for our special welcome letter
with exclusive updates from MAKERS.

MAKERS Profile

Sara Ziff

Filmmaker & Advocate

More From Sara

In this video

Tagged as

Sara Ziff became a model at the young age of 14. Her experience in the industry led to a film, and a nonprofit dedicated to establishing fair working conditions for models.

Sara's Biography

Ideal Interview Subject: Gloria Steinem 
Childhood Career Ambitions: Veterinarian
Role Models: Dorian Warren
Biggest Challenge for the Next Generation: Identifying with each other across generations.
 

At the age of 14, Sara Ziff was walking home from school in New York City, when she was scouted to become a model. Ziff's experiences as a young model eventually fed into a desire to improve the working conditions in this highly unregulated and secretive industry. She has stated that she knew, as a teenager, that this work "would become more than just modeling...more meaningful to her in other ways." At the age of 18, Ziff began modeling full-time and began documenting her life with the help of then-boyfriend and filmmaker, Ole Schell. What initially began as a video diary eventually became the award-winning documentary, Picture Me, a film that explores some of the darker sides of the modeling industry through focusing both on Ziff's personal experiences and those of her fellow models. She has since returned to university, graduating magna cum laude from Columbia University with a degree in political science.
 
She has become a vocal advocate for better working conditions in the modeling industry, founding the Model Alliance in 2011. Working with the Council of Fashion Designers of America, headed by Diane von Furstenberg, the nonprofit Model Alliance tries to work with the designers and other industry leaders to establish fair labor standards within the American fashion industry. 

Related Videos

Ava DuVernay
Ava DuVernay
Filmmaker

Ava DuVernay is an acclaimed award-winning director and writer. Her film, "Selma," about voting rights in the 60s, earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture...

Marie Wilson
Marie Wilson
Women's Activist

Marie Wilson is a women's activist dedicated to establishing women in leadership and power positions to create positive change. She founded and served as President of The White...

Muriel Fox
Muriel Fox
Co-Founder, NOW

Muriel Fox is a co-founder of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and, as a prominent public relations executive at Carl Byoir, wrote the organization's first press relea...

Jenette Kahn
Jenette Kahn
First Female Comic Book Executive

Kahn served as publisher and then president of DC Comics, where she helped the company grow from 35 people (with three women, including herself) to 250 people with women representi...