Diversity Is Trending Amongst Fashion
As we all know too well, the fashion industry is notorious for showcasing a very specific aesthetic, one that unfortunately frequently fails to resonate with the majority of individuals. We are very familiar with images portraying a certain “desirable” body ideal: tall, slim, beautiful with perfect hair and the lifestyle to accompany. But the industry seems to be finally acknowledging a shift in appearance; one that actually coincides with the real world and real people. Instead of illustrating stereotypical pictorials that so often flood glossy magazines, billboards and of course, our news feeds, fashion is championing diversity and equality, presenting a very real kind of beauty that represents the masses and showcases alternative paradigms.
Over the past couple of days, high street giants Primark, unveiled a refreshing and empowering clothing campaign, presenting amputee top model Kelly Knox, as their influencer of choice to front their latest image. Kelly, who was born with an absent left arm, is largely responsible for the photos unparalleled success, obtaining copious amounts of comments and receiving over 113,000 likes – securing it as one of Primark’s most liked Instagram photos. The disabled model said:” I feel so lucky and grateful to be represented by a major agency who believes in me and my beauty, who believes in the power and strength of diversity and is passionate about challenging beauty ideals and breaking barriers in the industry.” Adding to this, Kelly deciphers: “We all need role models, leaders and heroes to look up to, to enable us to dream that anything and everything is possible. Beauty is not one dimensional. It is time to stop aspiring to perfection.”
Elsewhere amid the fashion pack, lingerie company Figleaves, together with MiLK Models, are championing body diversity in their inspiring new campaign, which places emphasis on women of all body shapes, ethnicities, ages and abilities. Displaying the womanly form in all its glory, the campaign includes top curvy models Felicity Hayward and Sonny Turner, who shine a light on shape and size diversity, meanwhile, Nicky Griffin models mature beauty. The shoot additionally features Zimbabwean beauty, Nyasha Matonhodze, Yerim Ko, of Korean, Japanese and Chinese ethnicity, Dutch curve model Jill Kortleve, of Indian, Indonesian and Surinamese descent, and Kelly Knox appears once more.
This shoot comes soon after the unveiling of Rihanna’s new lingerie launch, entitled Savage X Fenty, demonstrating a memorandum of body-positive via its all-encompassing sizing range. A follow-on from the triumphant success of the popstars Fenty Beauty makeup collection that was inclusive to different skin tones and genders, her latest lingerie offering includes bras sizes that range from 32A to 44DD, and underwear pieces go from XS to 3X.
And finally, J.Crew is also jumping on the diversity bandwagon, revealing an inclusive collection that again champions all manner of body types, with sizes ranging from XXS to 5X, across an array of dresses, skirts, tops and trousers. J.Crew has gone into partnership with plus-size fashion brand Universal Standard, who apply their technical methodology of micro-grading by size, enabling each design to be tailored for the real woman’s form, will be available across J.Crew stores this autumn and is obtainable today on Jcrew.com.
Long may this positive and empowering movement continue!
Words Katie Farley