Debenhams Put Alternative Models At the Forefront of New Look Book

In Customer Experience, Featured on App, Marketing and Sales by Vaughn Highfield

Debenhams, Look Book, Curvy model, over 40s, Alternative, Advertsing, Fashion, Marketing, paralympian, clothing, customer engagement

Dove has been promoting natural beauty and using non-standard models for for years, pushing the realms of what we think is acceptable representation of women in advertising. It's worked wonders, and the industry has really been moving forward in that regard. And now it's Debenhams' turn to start changing how we perceive the models who advertise our clothing products.

While already a winner of the Body Confidence Award in 2012, Debenhams has continued to forge forward with its ‘Inclusivity Campaign' that showcases inspirational and realistic imagery of people of all different varieties.

Its latest ‘look book' campaign ditches the conventions of standard young and thin models and instead adopts a world that's far more diverse. It's not just a nod to being inclusive, but also shows just how good anyone can look in their clothes.

The images (shown below in a gallery) feature an amputee, three models over 40 – with one edging on 70 – a paralympian and a voluptuous size 18 model.

"Our customers are not the same shape or size so our latest look book celebrates this diversity," said Debenhams' Director of PR, Ed Watson over on the Debenhams’s blog. "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."

Jo Swinson, Minister for Women and Equalities, added:

"Once again Debenhams is showing that beauty comes in all forms – different skin colours, ages, body shapes and sizes. It was one of the first to introduce size 16 mannequins, and continues to send a clear message to the rest of the retail industry that many customers want to see more diverse and realistic images."

While it's all very nice, I still can't quite shake the feeling that this was motivated mostly by the desire to promote its products in some form of PR stunt.

That said, if more companies started doing this then it wouldn't seem so fake and forced. Let's hope that marketers start adopting this image more in the fashion industry like Dove has embraced it in the beauty sector.

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