Well, this is a long overdue step in the right direction. Debenhams has worked with inclusivity campaigner and fashion commentator Caryn Franklin, MBE. to create a high-summer lookbook featuring men and women from a truly diverse range of backgrounds. Certainly a very welcome change from the status quo, but this is hardly a surprise, when you consider the source. The high-street retailer has made a name for itself with a forward-thinking approach to diversity. For starters, it's introduced plus-sized mannequins into flagship stores and banned airbrushing from its swimwear campaigns. It also sits on the Body Confidence Advisory Committee board.
The lookbook attempts to challenge the fashion industry’s preference for tall, willowy models by promoting the summer collection on beautiful models of all ages and size — including women over 40, over six foot, under five foot, and fitting a size 18. Oh, and Paralympian athlete Stefanie Reid looks every inch the glamour girl in this shoot, too.
As Franklin explains, “To showcase the range of sizes and labels at Debenhams this season, I chose models to inspire us with their own unique looks and personalities. I loved seeing the way that clothes emboldened each woman and man, and I loved being on a shoot where no two models were the same. As a commentator on the importance of seeing a broader range of body and beauty ideals in our media, I never underestimate the power of great clothes to bolster self-esteem, or the impact of imagery that celebrates difference.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
This is an interesting move for a fashion company to make. A lookbook, something that's not normally meant for public consumption, is an important tool for the business to entice press to use their clothing in editorial features. By showing how fantastic this collection looks on a wider range men and women, it not only showcases the great design, but also highlights the potential for a wider swath of customers to love wearing it, too. (Drapers)