‘Now is the time to stand up for ourselves,’ continues Miller. ‘Many are suffering in silence and feel powerless to stand up to the film industry and streaming services. It’s corrupt and unfair, and our aim in launching this union is we can start to shift the dial in a positive direction.’
At present, there is no legislation in place to offer protection or advice within this section of the fashion industry.
In fact, according to Miller, it’s rare for any contracts or terms and conditions to ever be exchanged between stylist and client, and many are working below minimum wage, having to front large expense budgets with the promise of being paid in due course.
‘There is simply no regulation and we hope we can begin to change that,’ he says.
Currently, the CSU is operating thanks to the efforts of six people working behind the scenes, but they have rallied the interest of many more stylists and a large scale meeting with publicists, artists, actors, and agents is imminent.
The end goal is to try and unionise fashion freelancers as a whole. Miller hopes that photographers, hair and make-up artists, creative directors, set designers, tailors and assistants will be able to use the CSU as a template to set up their own unions so that professionals everywhere can guarantee they are respected.
‘Time and time again we are not compensated fairly or credited for the work we do,’ says Miller.
‘We are an incredibly important part in forming the public image of our clients, and we also build relationships between our clients and brands.’
‘Not only do we help grow our clients’ star power and public persona through what they wear, but we also increase their visibility to peers, directors, casting directors, producers, labels – and, in doing so, we also help their bank balance, too. Perhaps it’s time they help us.’