Over sixty foreign models were arrested last Thursday by Chinese officials for working illegally under tourist visas. Beijing police caught the models by setting up a fake casting call at Chinese modeling agency M3. Most of the models that had been arrested are from western countries like the United States, and other European Countries such as Russia and Ukraine, according to the New York Times.
The models who showed up were taken into custody and had their cellphones and passports confiscated. Four models are in jail and the other sixty will most likely face deportation. There have been other arrests in Guangzhou, and residences of models have been disclosed with police. According to Stylelist, models that haven’t been arrested are advising one another not to open their doors to strangers, to answer their phones, or even turn on the lights in their apartment at night. An online petition has been made by an industry group, Managers Agents Models Association, to release the models that were arrested. They released a statement, saying:
“This situation is a serious blow to the reputation of the international modeling community and to the whole Chinese fashion market. Its a traumatic blow to the concerned family and friends in many countries who have spent days worried about their loved ones. Our community has promoted China as the ‘next fashion capital’ reputation. Unless we can restore the trust and reputation of the Chinese market by securing proper visas and work permits, while monitoring local agencies to ensure the safety of our young models, our united worldwide community will be unable to support sending models to China. This will be damaging to the Chinese fashion industry, designers, local brands, international brands, local modeling agencies and supporting business, such as photographers, hair stylists, makeup artists and creative companies.”
If models want to work in China, they must have an entertainment visa, and that takes at least two months to process and requires more effort from the applicant — which is why many models are using tourist visas, because they are way easier to obtain. China has become a popular place for foreign models pursuing a career. China has become the forefront topic when it comes to fashion, due to major fashion labels such as Burberry, Dior Homme and Michael Kors. However, its unclear when those models will be released, but hopefully China can get this issue resolved soon, and release all those foreign models home.
[ Image Via Bing ]