Leading Spanish fashion houses including Inditex and flagship brand Zara have agreed an unprecedented move to draw up a beauty "canon" including harmonising dress sizes after a recent storm over the number of young women suffering from anorexia.
The 12-point package of measures, or beauty "charter" -- drawn up with the health ministry -- includes a stipulation that shop windows display sizes of 38 minimum (size 10 in Britain, eight in the United States) and that size-46 apparel be placed in easy view in stores under the generic label "large sizes."
In a joint statement the couturiers said they intended to harmonise sizes in a bid to reduce the possibility of "consumer error" with sizes currently not in sync from one firm to the next.
Aside from Zara, other signatories included Cortefiel, Mango and chain store Corte Ingles as the Spanish firms, most of whom also sell their wares abroad, are reacting to concerns that anorexia is on the rise and that models are "excessively thin."
The charter, whose measures will be progressively introduced, aims to mark a break with showcasing models of beauty which are "impossible to reach for most people" and "can contribute to serious health disorders," such as anorexia, a health ministry statement said.
The measures are based on a biometric study of 8,500 Spanish women aged between 12 and 70 begun earlier this year, the ministry said.