FASHION DESIGNERS may not be in accord on the subject of hemlines, but many now agree that acquiring a tan is "out," in the words of Donna Karan; "passe," according to Carolina Herrera, and "finished," in the opinion of Christian Lacroix. These fashion leaders are reaffirming the anti-tan message that doctors and skin-care specialists have been sending for years.
(As part of the American Academy of Dermatology's skin-cancer-prevention activities, free screenings are offered during May at clinics, hospitals and health fairs.)
"Even if we don't consider the health aspects--and how can we not?--a tan just isn't pretty anymore," Karan says.
A national survey of style opinion leaders sponsored by the dermatology academy and the Avon Foundation found that an overwhelming majority of fashion designers feel the same way. International model agent Eileen Ford says she discourages all models from sunbathing. Even swimwear models, for whom a sun-bronzed body would seem de rigueur, stay out of the sun. "We don't demand a tan. We don't care what color their skin is," says Anne Cole, designer of the Anne Cole Collection and executive vice president of Cole of California.
Unfortunately, Lacroix says, some Europeans still sunbathe, "despite what they know about the dangers."