According to The Business Model, more than 60 models have been arrested in China for working illegally.
Police in Beijing made the arrests after setting up a fake casting call for models last week, an operation that included creating a fake casting agency ‘M3’. The sting was set up to catch an influx of models working illegally in the country on tourist visas.
Four models have been jailed and 60 others remain in custody and will most likely face deportation.
China has been viewed as a growing competitor in the fashion world, especially among luxury designer labels. Fashion houses like Burberry, Dior Homme, Alexander Wang, Prada, Louis Vuitton and others have been building impressive stores throughout the country’s larger cities. The international attention on China as a leading supporter of high-fashion has led models from the U.S. and Europe to flock to the country.
Currently for a model to work legally in China an entertainment visa is required, which often takes months to process and can cost the applicant more time and money. Tourist visas are much easier to obtain. Rumors have it that models working illegally in the country have spread the word about the recent crackdown, advising fellow models not to open the door of their homes to strangers and to keep work portfolios and contact cards hidden at all times.
Photos Courtesy: Creative Commons, Flickr. (From 2006)