Organic Avenue addresses the controversy around its Fashion Week partnership

Last week the juice company was lambasted for offering models discounts during Fashion Week. We asked Organic Avenue about the intent of this initiative.


When the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America), Diane Von Furstenberg’s organization that works on initiatives to help models get healthier, announced that it was partnering with Organic Avenue for Fashion Week this year, the media erupted in anger.

Buzzfeed and Grubstreet published headlines about juice cleanses being half-off for models, saying chlorophyll and lettuce wraps are not what the overworked young women need, and ABC published a story that compared sending models to Organic Avenue to sending alcoholics to a bar.

The concerns are valid, and the conversation about helping models escape a culture that’s rife with unhealthy, dangerous eating (or not-eating) habits is an uber-important one. But it’s worth pointing out that the focus on cleansing was the media’s, not the company’s.

The partnership details are as follows: models get one free juice and 50 percent off all food and juices at any of the company’s locations. That does include cleanses, but none of the information presented to models mentioned it—it was presented as a fast, convenient way to grab some healthy grub while working long hours.

“This initiative is about healthy eating, not cleansing,” said OA’s senior VP of retail Jessie Gould. “Organic Avenue boutiques are stocked with healthy, nutritious, organic, sustainable foods including snacks, soups, entrees, salads, desserts, and nutrient-rich juices.”

No, the food is not generally protein-heavy, but it’s real, mostly plants, and way cleaner than what’s typically backstage at the shows. Here’s hoping that during Fashion Week, instead of popping open a Diet Coke for a pick-me-up, a few models will grab a green juice or a quinoa-kale salad, getting great nutrients, vitamins, and minerals instead. —Lisa Elaine Held

What do you think? Is the partnership a healthy or unhealthy one for Fashion Week models? Tell us, in the Comments, below!

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