Debenhams Department Store: Bona Fide Diversity

Debenhams Diversity

Debenhams for Diversity by Ben Barry at AnyBody

Last week, the UK department Debenhams launched an advertising campaign for their Principles fashion line that features models of a variety of sizes, backgrounds, and abilities. The print advert features a petite 5’4 model, a size 16 model, a size 10 model, and a wheel-chair using model. Debenhams is the first UK high street retailer to employ a model who uses a wheelchair in an advert.

Michael Sharp, Debenhams’ Deputy Chief Executive, said: “We cater for women of all shapes and sizes, young and old, non-disabled and disabled, so we wanted our windows to reflect this choice.”

Read more at AnyBody.

Related content featuring Debenhams:

Mannequins Make a Statement

Debenhams Breaks Fashion Protocol Again




5 thoughts on “Debenhams Department Store: Bona Fide Diversity

  1. Actually, I work at the same agency as the lady you mention above, Mimi — her name is Kelly Knox, and she is a very successful model in London with a huge career, so I think your assessment of the impact of that show (BBC’s Britain’s Next Top Missing Model) is not correct. We are both part of an organization called Models of Diversity – – which advocates for more diversity in models, and demands that the fashion and marketing industries recognise the beauty in women of all races, ages, shapes, sizes and abilities. Our mission is to change the face of fashion and modelling. I myself am a size 16/18 plus model with the organization, and we just lit a fire under the London fashion scene with our show on 29th July, 2010. We showcased disabled (deaf, wheelchair bound, CP), mature (age 35 – 72), plus (size 12 – 18) and models of nationalities and colour in this event. We are agency standard models, but do not fit the Cover of Vogue look. But we are the VAST majority of the fashion buying public, so why do designers and stores ignore our needs? Thank you Debehams – you just got yourself a new customer!

  2. Interesting–this reminds me of that British modeling show that came out a few years ago; the one that featured one-armed, wheel-chair-bound, and deaf models. It caused a pop when it first came out but I never heard if was successful.

    What is your take on these kinds of displays? All of these women are beautiful, but displays like this make me wonder about still putting forth unrealistic ideals. And of course, at the end of the day, it is about gaining PR to best show off and sell the clothes. Is this just another interesting set of living clothes hangers? I’m undecided.

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