“SYNAM advocates the interests of its member agencies to the different interlocutors and partners of the industry.

SYNAM also has a useful role in sharing legal and social intelligence.

Finally, the SYNAM website itself provides us with useful and accessible support in our various relationships with our clients.”


SYNAM intervenes with various institutions, trade unions and ministries in order to make known and promote the interests of modeling agencies.

The union maintains privileged relationships with the cabinets of the ministries concerned by the activity of the agencies such as the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of the Interior or more recently the Ministry of the Economy and Public Finance.

Since 2009, SYNAM has seen its efforts rewarded by major advances for the entire profession of modeling agencies.

Here is the non-exhaustive list of 12 topics that are the most representative of SYNAM’s actions. Accordingly, anyone can see that SYNAM, recognized as representative of the modeling agency industry by the authorities of the Ministry of Labour, fully fulfills its role and its mission for the good of all modeling agencies.

SYNAM doesn’t simply exist but works every day to bring, through concrete actions, improvements to the conditions of exercise of the whole profession.

“SYNAM is at our side. It’s a partner who listens, is reactive and very involved. Our interests are very well defended… and with fervor. I am very happy to be a member.”

Elisabeth LIGNEUL-ASSOULINE, Manager, KIJO Agency

collective agreement

contract templates

modification of the nature of models’ image rights

adaptation of the legislation to European law

medical monitoring of models’ health

administrative attribution of a NIR for models

union representation

KERING – LVMH charter

easing of MOE administrative procedures

professional training

introduction of branch parity

aids obtained during the COVID 19 pandemic

In addition to the compulsory annual negotiations (NAO) with the representative employee trade unions regarding the minimum wages of models that SYNAM negotiates very regularly and whose extension it ensures (applicable to the entire profession), the union has endeavored to make improvements, additions and legislative updates to the initial text of the collective agreement via 14 successive amendments.

You can download here the collective agreement for adult models and child models under 16 years employed by modeling agencies (IDCC 2397).

The collective agreement and its 14 endorsements are available in the private member access reserved for SYNAM members.

In 2010, SYNAM has created contract templates (CMAD – Contract of Work and Transfer of Rights) respecting the various articles of the labor code.

These documents, registered at the INPI, are reserved for SYNAM member agencies and are exclusively available in the private member access reserved for them.

Following a meeting at the Ministry of Economy and Finance in 2009, SYNAM obtained in 2011 that the image rights of models are recognized as property rights and subject, as such, to the CSG patrimonial and not the initial tax project.

In 2011, during the drafting of the law n°2011-302 of March 22, 2011 in regards to various provisions for adapting the legislation to European Union law, SYNAM met with various important actors such as:

  • members of the cabinet of Xavier Bertrand, then Minister of Labor,
  • the Rapporteur of the Social Affairs Commission (Cécile Desmoulins),
  • a member of the Parliament to discuss the case of models under the age of sixteen (Edwige Antier),
  • two senators, Mrs. Henneron and Mrs. Giudicelli.

SYNAM was able to make them aware that the salaried employment of models on our territory was a “world exception” but that it could not necessarily apply to models from the rest of the world, especially to nationals of European countries.

As a result, it was necessary to adapt French law to this European opening while making sure the economic survival of the agencies would be preserved with regard to the competition from their European counterparts.

These meetings allowed SYNAM to be involved in the drafting of the application circular, which is available in the private access reserved for SYNAM members.

Following the application decrees of the law of July 20, 2011 issued in 2012, SYNAM drafted, in agreement with its employee union partners, the text of the national collective agreement on occupational health for model employees, a text that has become applicable to all agencies since its extension on October 4, 2016.

In 2017, following the El Khomri Law of August 8, 2016 and its enforcement decree of December 27, 2016 modernizing occupational medicine and occupational health services, Mr. Veran, Acting Chairman of the Social Affairs Committee, had a legislative text passed in April 2017 to specifically frame the medical monitoring of models by drawing the attention of doctors to their BMI (Article L.7123-2-1 of the Labor Code).

SYNAM immediately took up this issue, issued a press release and intervened on the evening of the vote, on the France 2 news channel and on the BFM news channel to denounce this umpteenth political attack on the thinness of models, who are once again wrongly accused of being responsible for the cases of anorexia encountered in the French population.

The monitoring of the health of models was considered from a French point of view, ignoring once again, like a few years before, that the models who work, especially during fashion-weeks, are not all French or French residents.

The protocol then envisaged did not allow foreign models to have a medical follow-up at the CMB.

For SYNAM, a minimum of fair treatment between French or resident models and models who are nationals of European or third countries seemed to be the minimum required from those who legislate without a prior impact study and without even receiving representatives of modeling agencies to understand the reality of the field.

The SYNAM has negotiated hard with the Ministries of Health and Labor a rider to the 2012 agreement in order to organize the medical monitoring of all models, regardless of their country of origin, in a pragmatic way.

This rider is applicable to all modeling agencies since its extension by order of December 6, 2017. It is available in the private access reserved for SYNAM members.

In 2016, SYNAM obtained from the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs that a perennial NIR (Insee Registration Number) be assigned to each foreign model to enable the agencies’ accounting departments to establish the monthly DSNs pertaining to the models (Déclaration Sociale Nominative).

The State found that there were a very large number of professional unions but that many of them were “dormant”.

The Ministry of Labor launched in 2016 a process via the Internet through which, with the sending of a large number of documents and various answers to interrogations, the SYNAM was able to prove both its dynamism and the interest shown by many modeling agencies both in Paris and in the provinces. The communication of its financial accounts approved by an auditor was attached to the file.

The SYNAM, successfully meeting all the criteria, was recognized as the only representative union for the “model agencies” branch.

This recognition of our representativeness is essential because no negotiation, both at the professional level with other institutions and at the national level with the State and the ministries, can take place without our consultation and/or our presence.

Since then, the Ministry of Labor has wished to restructure the professional branches by merging by decree the scope of application of a branch with that of another branch which presents similar social and economic conditions.

In this context, SYNAM wished to get closer to SYNPASE via the principle of voluntary merger by collective agreement.

SYNAM has always been concerned about the lack of respect for the bodies of models and their working conditions.

As such, the union has drawn, on several occasions, orally and in writing, the attention of the Fédération de la Haute Couture and de la Mode on all the recurring issues coming from some houses towards models, especially at the time of fashion weeks.

In the spring of 2017, when whistleblower James Scully released information, SYNAM took the opportunity to meet with François-Henri Pinault, CEO of the KERING Group and a recognized advocate for women’s rights.

We exposed to him what we considered as bad habits taken towards the models during castings, fittings and jobs. We also drew his attention to the criteria of extreme thinness of the models required by designers.

Very receptive to our request for change, he committed himself to SYNAM to impose new rules to better respect and consider models to the companies belonging to the group.

SYNAM then decided to meet with Antoine Arnault, a member of the Board of Directors of LVMH, in order to make him aware of the working conditions of models, sometimes unacceptable, and, once again, of the demands of extreme thinness requested by designers.

At our initiative, the two groups have for the first time come together and decided to draft together the KERING – LVMH charter based on a list of topics provided by SYNAM.

The charter is available in English here.

In the fall of 2017, SYNAM negotiated with the Ministry of the Interior a new protocol allowing for an easing of the administrative procedures for obtaining the papers allowing a non-European foreign model to come and work in France, something never obtained before.

SYNAM’s member agencies have been given exclusive access to a document listing, in tables, the steps to be taken under the new protocol. This document is available in the private platform reserved for SYNAM members.

Historically, each agency had the freedom to pick its collecting agency for professional training.

The State was eager to restructure this by reducing the number of professional training organizations to 11 and by dividing them by sector according to their field of competence.

SYNAM met with AFDAS, now designated by the State as the collecting agency for artists, models and journalists.

It is a good choice and the range of training offered, both for permanent agency staff and for models, is diverse and relevant.

All professional organizations need financial funds to carry out their mission.

Our partners, the employees’ unions, have been asking for several years for the establishment of joint participation of the entire profession, which would benefit from all the work done by the representative unions in the branch, but without giving any compensation since 2005.

Paritarianism in the “model agencies” branch has been operational since 2019, and all French model agencies are obliged to pay annually, via AGEPRO, a contribution of 0.25% calculated on the gross salary mass of N-1 models (including paid leave).

This contribution is then paid to a joint organization managed by the representative unions.

As soon as the first confinement was imposed in March 2020, SYNAM contacted the director of the cabinet of the Minister of Economy and Finance in order for the modeling agencies to be included in the ministerial list of companies that would receive support.

All modeling agencies were able to benefit from support before the summer and, since being included on this list, agencies can now, under certain conditions:

  • benefit from the exemption of part of the employer’s contributions (URSSAF and unemployment) or the postponement of the deadlines of 5 or 15 November 2020,
  • possibly receive assistance from the solidarity fund for the month of November and another for compensation for partial activity.

Finally, the tax deadlines can be negotiated with the company’s tax department.

“SYNAM offers an attentive and competent ear to answer our questions. This support is invaluable for this activity, which is not well known and has many specificities.

In addition, it is very reassuring to know that SYNAM fights every day to defend the interests of agencies.”

Marielle MONS, Associate Director, Agence LILI.M