One of the biggest new names in fashion, teen supermodel Valerija Sestic, has created a wave of controversy after it materialised that she lied about her age in order to appear in a series of high profile New York Fashion shows.

The Swiss-born schoolgirl, who has Croatian roots, was only spotted in April earlier this year whilst on a family holiday, but she is fast becoming one of hottest properties in fashionland. Yet, the Daily Mail have been quick to point out that the coveted model will not turn 16 until October 21st, which means that the labels which have employed her have flouted industry guidelines by using an officially underage model.

Fashion designers including the likes of Tory Burch, Rodarte and Oscar de la Renta were all led to believe that Sestic was 16 years of age, but the model’s agency Women Management recently revealed that the her true age is still 15. Amongst the dozen or so designers who have employed her many have claimed that they were completely in the dark as to her real age; a spokesman for Tory Burch said they were led to believe that the model was older than she is actually is, telling the Wall Street Journal: 'We are conscious not to use models under 16.'

Whilst the Council of Fashion Designers of America laid down guidelines about underage models in 2007 stating that girls under 16 should be kept off the catwalk, the organisation’s directives are only suggestions and do not actually constitute an outright ban. So despite all the kerfuffle, the young model still appeared on the catwalk at Dolce and Gabbana’s Milan Fashion Week show last week!

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