Dear Shaded Viewers,
Federico Pignatelli. Federico is the founder of Industry Model Management and Pier 59 Studios in NYC. Perhaps more interesting than that, is his dedication to protect not only his clients, but models worldwide. In fact, this led him to create the Model’s Bill of Rights, a comprehensive bill that demands timely payment, safe working environments, and fair treatment when it comes to immigration and visa issues – something Pignatelli feels is a real issue within the industry.
Fashion Models typically enter the United States on the H-1B3 visa or the O-1B visa, but to skirt the arduous and costly process of applying for a visa, many agencies will bring their models to the US on a tourist visa and simply send them into the city to work without proper documentation, leaving them at considerable risk of imprisonment, fines and deportation – effectively ending their career.
If a model is fortunate enough to gain the proper work visa and sponsorship by a US agency, they are often sent on jobs by their secondary or third agencies (often from overseas) that are not covered by the visa in place, again putting them at risk. The lack of education provided to these models allows the systematic abuse and disregard for the law by their agencies and according to one man, needs to stop now.
Federico Pignatelli, founder of Industry Model Management, Pier 59 Studios, and creator of the Model’s Bill of Rights is determined to get the industry to clean up its act, offering educational sessions, and written information to every model that he represents.
“I created the Model’s Bill of Rights to help protect and empower not only my clients, but models throughout the industry,” states Pignatelli. “The immigration issue has become an epidemic across the industry – and it doesn’t stop there! Too often we see agencies withholding payment, using their visas or immigration status as leverage to coerce the girls into taking jobs that they do not feel comfortable with, or disregarding the restrictions of a working visa entirely. My goal through the education that we offer at Pier 59 Studios and through the creation of the Model’s Bill of Rights, is to not only provide our models with an understanding of what they can and should expect from their agencies, but also to sound a warning bell all other model agencies and clients that it’s time that they, too, start playing by the rules.”
Federico Pignatelli is the founder and owner of Industry Model Management, Pier 59 Studios, and creator of the Model’s Bill of Rights.
Link to the Model’s Bill of Rights: