Not too long ago we shunned the ‘norm’ of seeing slim, slender, and almost Greek goddess-like figures in fashion and beauty campaigns on social media. What was deemed ‘socially acceptable’ now has a broader meaning and the shift in the consumer mindset is the reason for this change. The demand to see diverse faces and bodies in everyday media has started becoming stronger, leading to a slow but steady shift in acceptance.
Fashion campaigns, now more than ever, are featuring a diverse selection of women. Not only are there changes in imagery but they’re also driving marketing strategies. Be it models of different sizes in a Sabyasachi campaign or Lizzo unapologetically being the queen that she is, we may be on our way to acceptance; but are we there yet ?
Here are some of the brands that took the step towards size inclusivity recently...
Designer Sabyasachi’s recent campaigns have made waves online, for reasons both good and bad. Where, on the one hand, the designer has found himself at the centre of a controversy surrounding certain groups who are unhappy with his imagery, on the other, he’s being lauded for showing full-bodied, bodacious women without any form of retouching. Today, models like Apoorva Rampal and Varshita Thatavarth, resplendent in Sabyasachi bridal wear or jewellery, have become staples on our Instagram feeds.
House of Masaba by Masaba Gupta
Fun and norm-breaking are perhaps two words most commonly associated with Masaba Gupta’s brand. So it comes as no surprise that the designer jumped on the size inclusivity bandwagon pretty early on. Models of all shapes and sizes have been featured in her campaigns. This included Bangladeshi model Sobia Ameen looking like a million bucks in a forest green co-ord set in a photoshoot for the brand.
History was made at the SS21 Versace show at Milan Fashion Week where the iconic brand enlisted three full-figured models to walk the runway for the first time ever. Models Jill Kortleve, Precious Lee, and Alva Claire strutted down the runway in designs inspired by the lost city of Atlantis. You know what they say, better late than never.
One of the most popular activewear brands around the world, Lululemon has been called out multiple times for not being size-inclusive. After years of criticism, the brand decided to make amends and launch more size options in their core ranges. The brand’s statement claimed that even though they have a long way to go to become fully size-inclusive, this is a small step in the right direction.
Dutch model Jill Kortleve became the first full-figured model to walk the runway for Chanel after a full decade. After dipping their toes in the ‘size diversity’ pool by including model Crystal Renn for their 2011 Cruise collection show, the brand decided to make a statement again with Kortleve for their Autumn/Winter 2021 show at Paris Fashion Week.
For their Fall 2020 showcase at the Milan Fashion Week, legendary brand Fendi featured full-figured models for the first time in their long and illustrious history. Models Paloma Elsesser and Jill Kortleve joined the Hadid sisters and Kaia Gerber to walk the runway and usher the brand into a new era.
While this is a positive start, we still have a long way to go in the fight for complete body positivity and acceptance. Stay tuned and watch this space for more updates.