From pledging to go Photoshop-free in 2014 to combining its plus-size section with its main line so it's all one collection, ModCloth's commitment to inclusivity is quite clear. Last year, ModCloth tapped some of its employees to model its swim collection, to much acclaim. For its latest swimwear campaign, the e-tailer decided to keep it in the family again. But this time, ModCloth opened up the casting call to friends of the brand (a.k.a. kickass female entrepreneurs) and loyal customers along with people on the site's payroll. ModCloth introduced the stars of its swim '16 campaign in a blog post; the images feature designers and merchandise planners from ModCloth HQ, industry creatives and colleagues the brand admires (such as Amina Mucciolo of Studio Mucci and Samantha Kuntz of Whurl), customers (plucked from its Style Gallery, in which shoppers can post photos of themselves), as well as folks that have been featured previously in campaigns, like Riley Silverman. A ModCloth rep tells us that, whenever possible, it casts its shoots from its community — and that some have then gone on to pose for other brands.
"Well, all women — regardless of their size or measurements — deserve to be celebrated and seen in mainstream representation," Susan Gregg Koger, ModCloth's cofounder and chief creative officer (who is also featured in the swim '16 campaign), told Refinery29 about its new swim campaign. "We need to move past judging women by their bodies. Being 'real' is having substance and showing your true, authentic self." In last year's shoot, all models donned the same suit style. This year, however, ModCloth is spotlighting its new High Dive collection, which features a variety of silhouettes and prints in a range of sizes. The brand is also kicking off a new video series, Hot Tub Round Table. In the inaugural episode, Koger invites fellow entrepreneurs and campaign stars Muccilio, Kuntz, and Micki Krimmel (the latter is the founder of body-positive activewear brand Superfit Hero) to talk frankly about entrepreneurship (and reading the comments on social media). You can watch more of the series on ModCloth's Youtube channel.