By Daniel Miller
Los Angeles Times
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Charging parents to give their children access to modeling and entertainment jobs is a growing worry among industry experts and law enforcement officials.
Los Angeles Times
Amelia Su-Lin Crawford stood near the corner of the ballroom and handed out coupons to Little T’s Boutique, a children’s clothing store.
It was the day before the Oscars, and the model, 8 years old, was working for one of several companies gathered at an Academy Awards gifting suite, where TV personalities and other performers collected swag from businesses while posing for photographers.
To attend the event in Hollywood, Amelia’s mother, Amanda Crawford, said she paid $1,000 to fashion designer Tiffany Cooper, the owner of Little T’s.
Crawford, of Corona, Calif., brought her daughter to the February event to meet VIPs who might advance her modeling and acting career. The fee gave Amelia access to the suite and a sleeveless pink-and-gray dress that she wore there, Crawford said. She later received two more dresses.
Crawford said the half day of work was a “waste of time, completely,” because it didn’t generate any modeling or acting gigs _ as she said Cooper claimed it would. “Nothing came from it; nothing will come from it,” Crawford said.
Cooper disputed her allegations.
At a time of pervasive reality TV and social media, when anyone thinks they can become stars, there has been an influx of businesses in the modeling industry that cater to people who dream of becoming the next Kendall Jenner or Gigi Hadid.
Little T’s, based in Trenton, Ill., is one of a few businesses operated by fashion designers that make money by charging families for items such as clothing or photographs in exchange for the chance to work at a runway show, gifting suite or photo shoot. Another designer, Fremont, Calif.-based Nancy Vuu, sent an email soliciting parents to pay thousands of dollars for their model children to appear in a short film.