Meet the Models Calling for a Body Diversity Revolution in Fashion – Yahoo News
Think about it: How often do you see models of different ages, races, weights, and shapes working together on the same shoot? The modeling landscape may have become more inclusive, but that doesnât mean that opportunities are available for everyone. For instance, itâs still rare for a size 2 and a size 12 to land the same jobs. With a multi-platform campaign designed to showcase the beauty of difference, the All Woman Project aims to change all that.
Spearheaded by Charli Howard, a British model who made headlines when her agency fired her for being too heavy at size 2, and ClÃ©mentine Desseaux, a body-positive model-blogger, the All Woman Project is an editorial, video, and social media project designed to challenge preconceived notions. The campaign features an array of models of all shapes, sizes, and ethnicities posing together with the Instagram-friendly #IAmAllWoman hashtag scrawled across each photo. The unretouched shots could easily be mistaken for an underwear or denim adâand thatâs the point. âWe couldnât understand why straight and plus-size models arenât featured together more in shoots and campaigns,â says Howard. âAs a consumer, you deserve to look at a fashion image and see yourself represented, not just a row of skinny Caucasian girls, but a variety of sizes and colors.â
For Desseaux, the impact of representation was paramount. âWe grew up uneasy with our bodies and thinking that we had to change them to make them better,â she says. âWe wanted to show that weâre beyond what the media is sayingâwe are all beautiful, all worthy, and all women.â
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Given the message behind the editorial and accompanying video, finding collaborators who understood its importance was key. âOur one rule was that the girls we picked needed to be vocal about diversity in fashion,â says Howard. They enlisted photographers Heather Hazzan and Lily Cummings, both curve models themselves, and videographer Olimpia Valli Fassi, who is actively involved in womenâs rights causes.
Selecting the models who would embody this message was also crucial. Plus-size models like Iskra Lawrence, Denise Bidot, and Barbie Ferreiraâall of whom are featured in the campaignâhave spoken about their relationship with their bodies in the past, but for some of the thinner models such candor was new territory. âFinding skinnier models who spoke up about body positivity was tricky,â says Howard. They found kindred spirits in Elliott Sailors, the androgynous model and activist; Shivani Persad, who runs a diversity-centric podcast; rapper and model Victoria Brito; former Miss Teen USA Kamie Crawford; and musician Leaf. However, the twosome did face a challenge when it came to finding appropriate clothing samples. âThat was quite stressful,â says Howard. âYouâd be surprised at how difficult it was finding clothing brands that cater to women of all sizes.â
On set, the girl power was palpable. Though sleepless nights were involved, sluggish eyes havenât deterred Desseaux and Howard from wanting to push things even further with additional films. âWe plan on making more videos and taking it global to highlight different beauty standards around the world,â says Howard.
The video will launch right before New York Fashion Week, and Howard and Desseaux hope to get a dialogue started not just in the fashion community but also online among the groupâs over 3.5 million followers. With social takeover on Clapit slated for September 12, the stars of the video are asking women to upload their own content and inspirational messages via the #IAmAllWoman hashtag. The audience participation is not a gimmick; itâs designed to put the power in the hands of the public. âIf two models with close-to-no budget but a lot of vision can pull this together to make a change, everyone can do it,â says Desseaux. âIt is possible to make this world a better place. We can accomplish so much by just believing in ourselves. We just want more women to do the same.â
This story originally appeared on Vogue.
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