Fashion Campaign Finally Gets Diversity Right!

by Katie Fustich

For most brands, the concept of using “diverse” models in their advertisements extends to using both size two AND four Amazons. Despite continued backlash for these skewed representations, retailers have made  no real initiative to promote a wide range of body types.

So, when I stumbled upon Debenham’s Summer Look Book from earlier this year, I couldn’t help but squeal with happiness. The campaign features, among other things, a Paralympian, a 60+ year old woman, and a size 18 model. And guess what? All of them are total babes.

The best part about this campaign, though, is the honesty with which it is presented. Whereas when some retailers decide to throw in a “curvy” model, they practically kiss their own feet, Debenham’s has presented this campaign without a hint of pretentiousness or self-importance. To me, the photos say “Hey, check out these awesome clothes. Don’t you want to buy these awesome clothes? Oh, and the lady wearing them has a BMI over 3, what do ya know?” 

Hopefully this popular retailer helps set a standard in an industry that seems eternally set in its ways. Debenham’s PR Director Ed Watson certainly hopes so: “Our customers are not the same shape or size so our latest look book celebrates this diversity,” he commented. “We would be delighted if others followed our lead. Hopefully these shots will be a step, albeit a small one, towards more people feeling more comfortable about their bodies.” Right on, Ed!

What’s your take on this campaign? Do you think the fashion industry has the potential to ever change? If anything, it certainly adds to the list of things the U.K. is getting right lately!


Images via Debenham’s

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