Erin O’Connor: Sanctuary was hard work

Erin O’Connor’s Model Sanctuary is now being looked after by the British Fashion Council.

Erin O’Connor has joked she spent years “opening a vein and arm-twisting” to keep Model Sanctuary open.

The British star opened the establishment in 2008 and in 2011 she estimated up to 200 models would use it every day during London Fashion Week. It’s a non-profit drop-in center where models can go between shows for a break and to receive advice about exercise, diet and other aspects of their life.

Earlier this year it had to close due to rent issues and it’s now been announced the British Fashion Council has assumed control of it.

“After years of begging, borrowing and stealing, opening a vein, arm-twisting and blagging in general, I’m delighted to not have the responsibility of arranging the venue this time,” Erin told

“I will continue to support every project that aims to protect the young and more vulnerable members of our industry and I will always be happy to help where I can.”

The British Fashion Council understands the importance of the work Model Sanctuary does during Fashion Week. It’s a time when models can be stressed out and tired, so they need support.

“I am delighted that the British Fashion Council is committed to maintaining the momentum created by this project to ensure that model health and wellbeing remain an integral part of London Fashion Week,” Erin added.