MADRID, Spain – Spain’s government has reached an agreement with
major fashion designers, including the owner of the Zara chain, to
standardize women’s clothing sizes with the aim of promoting a
healthier image.Designers such as Cortefiel, Mango, El Corte Ingles and Inditex,
which owns Zara, agreed to take part in the program, which was
The program, designed by the Health Ministry, will also prevent those
companies from using window displays featuring clothes smaller than a
European size 38 (10 in Britain, 8 in the United States). They will
have five years to phase in the change.
“It is not reasonable for a modern and advanced society to establish
stereotypes of beauty that are far removed from the social reality of
a community. It is everyone’s commitment that beauty and health go
hand in hand,” Health Minister Elena Salgado said at a signing
The agreement follows last year’s unprecedented decision by Spain’s
main fashion show, Madrid’s Pasarela Cibeles, to ban some models from
the catwalk on grounds they were too thin, saying this looked
encouraged eating disorders among young people.
The Health Ministry’s program aims to end a situation in which a
woman who buys a size 40 dress from one designer may not fit in a
size 40 garment from another designer. The ministry said the
differences sometimes lead women to feel compelled to lose weight.
Designers should be encouraged to “promote a healthy physical image
that conforms with the reality of the Spanish population,” the
ministry said in a statement.
The agreement also stipulates that European size 46 no longer be
specifically labeled as a larger size.
As part of the effort to standardize sizes, the ministry plans to
measure 8,500 Spanish girls and women between the ages of 12 and 70
to determine the true shapes of Spanish women’s bodies.
Via Associated Press