‘Diverse’ models in fashion drive

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A HIGH street department store has launched a new fashion campaign using non-traditional models – including an amputee, a Paralympian and a senior ­citizen.

Debenhams’ High Summer Look Book features Paralympian amputee Stefanie Reid, who won a silver long jump medal in the 2012 London Games, three models over 40 and a woman of just five feet tall – almost a foot shorter than typical catwalk models.

Swimwear shots for the campaign also use celebrate curves using a model who is a size 18, while another model was born without her left forearm and was discovered when she won the TV show Missing Next Top Model.

The latest campaign is not the first time Debenhams has turned to more unusual models to promote its products. Three years ago, it broke convention to use a disabled model when it relaunched its Principles brand and has used size 16 mannequins in stores to more accurately 
reflect the shape of customers. It has also banned airbrushing on swimwear imagery and has shot lingerie campaigns featuring a 50+ model.

“Our customers are not the same shape or size, so our latest Look Book celebrates this diversity,” said Ed Watson, spokesman for Debenhams.

“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.”

Minister for Women and Equalities Jo Swinson said: “I have long been concerned that idealised, unrealistic media images play a significant part in lowering self-esteem and
reducing women’s confidence and contribution – at school, at work, and in society.

“The models in the Look Book are truly diverse.”