In 2002, IMG Fashion partnered with the Federal Government to create the ‘Smoke Free Fashion’ initiative. This initiative carries through with Mercedes-Benz Fashion Weekend Edition (MBFWeekendEd). With tobacco smoking as one of the largest preventable causes of death, disease, illness and disability in Australia, the aim of the Smoke Free Fashion initiative was to reduce the high number of images of tobacco smoking in the fashion press and to combat the targeting of MBFWeekendEd and designers by tobacco companies for their marketing initiatives. The Smoke Free Fashion initiative also sought to draw to the fashion industry’s attention the need to eradicate images of smoking from fashion and social editorial. Along with the Smoke Free Fashion initiative, a number of leading fashion designers, models and celebrities signed the ‘Smoke Free Fashion Pledge’ to support the cause and smoking guidelines were implemented at 2002 RAFW that are still in place today. These are:

- No models are permitted on an onsite MBFWeekendEd catwalk while smoking.

- No smoking is permitted backstage or in any of the official onsite MBFWeekendEd venues.

- Any member of the fashion industry who is associated with MBFWeekendEd and is a smoker is encouraged not to allow their image/picture to be taken while smoking.


RSFF does not tolerate the use of illicit drugs at MBFWeekendEd. Anyone found to be using, dealing or suspected to be under the influence of illicit drugs at RSFF or MBFWeekendEd operated events will be escorted off-site by MBFWeekendEd security, handed to the appropriate authorities and dealt with accordingly.


MBFWeekendEd encourages the fashion industry to promote healthy body images through the presentation of and publicity associated with the event. It recognises that the promotion of images of exceedingly thin models on the catwalk may lead to some young Australian women seeing such persons as role models and becoming obsessive about wanting to emulate these images. It is understood that there have been reported links with a variety of eating disorders associated with this scenario around the world.

Designers participating in MBFWeekendEd are responsible for casting models for their individual shows. MBFWEEKENDED is responsible for casting models for all group shows and any special events also in consultation with designers.

MBFWeekendEd does not currently see the need to impose strict rules on designers regarding the casting of models at the event in relation to imposing body mass indexes (BMI), or any other forms of body measurement. We are fortunate, given the professional nature of modelling agencies in Australia, who have a strict code of self regulation in respect to the care and governance of the models they represent.

Given the current media speculation on this image issue and by recognising that the promotion of unnaturally or extraordinarily thin models may be harmful to young Australian women, MBFWeekendEd feels that it is necessary to reinforce to designers, model agencies and industry some sensible self regulating guidelines to avoid any unnecessary situations occurring. These are;

- Modelling agencies will be briefed not to send to MBFWeekendEd designer show castings, for either individual, group or special events, any models who in their professional opinion would be considered to be unnaturally or extraordinarily thin or suspected of having an eating disorder. This statement purely serves to reinforce the current professional practice of Australian modelling agencies.

- Designers should be mindful when casting for MBFWeekendEd shows that there are links between the promotion of unnatural or extraordinarily thin models and eating disorders in young women and to ensure that while healthy, naturally slim models are the industry standard, that extraordinarily thin models are not cast.

- To avoid sensationalising body image on the catwalks of MBFWeekendEd, MBFWeekendEd encourages all media editors to act responsibly by not publishing unflattering or unfortunate images of models that might be captured despite the best efforts of model agencies, designers and MBFWeekendEd to present models with positive body images. It is not uncommon for individual pictures to incorrectly portray a model’s body type and publication of these images may contribute negatively to the situation RSFF and the industry are trying to improve.

- MBFWeekendEd only has jurisdiction over Group Shows and special event casting and will not cast unnaturally or extraordinarily thin models for these shows.

- MBFWeekendEd has no jurisdiction over models appearing in individual designer shows and encourages all designers and their agents to adhere to the self regulating guidelines out lined above.


- MBFWeekendEd endorses an ‘enjoy responsibly’ approach to alcohol consumption. IMG Fashion defines responsible drinking as that which is legal, informed and considered. This includes being of legal age (18+) years and abiding by any other applicable laws such as the responsible service of alcohol.

- MBFWeekendEd promotes a balanced, mature and responsible approach to the consumption of alcohol. IMG Fashion will seek to ensure that venue licensees, contracted bar staff, security and management understand their obligations in relation to the service of alcohol and engage in responsible server practices at all times.

- Alcohol is to be served only in approved licensed venues by staff trained in the responsible service of alcohol.


- MBFWeekendEd requires that any model that participates in MBFWeekendEd to model adult clothing must be at least 16 years of age or over. They must be managed and represented by a model agency.

- Young models should not be asked to wear sheer garments without consent from their agents and parents and/or guardians.

MBFWeekendEd and its owner IMG Fashion are not liable for any action or consequences of an action taken by a participant at the Event which is contrary to any of the above conduct guidelines. IMG Fashion is not in a position to strictly police these guidelines and rather seeks the industry to support and adopt these conduct guidelines.

These guidelines have been developed in consultation with and are endorsed by IMG Fashion’s industry appointed National Advisory Board.