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Debenhams ad to feature Paralympic amputee


Department store group Debenhams is launching an ad featuring Paralympic athlete and amputee Stefanie Reid as it continues to showcase diversity, it has been announced.

Also featuring three models over 40, including a 69-year-old woman and a size 18 swimwear model, the campaign features a ‘High Summer Look Book’ created in collaboration with inclusivity campaigner and fashion industry commentator Caryn Franklin.

Aimed at challenging public perception of disability and size and well as fashion industry ‘norms’, the campaign follows Debenhams’ decision to use size 16 mannequins in store to better reflect customers’ size, the banning of airbrushing on swimwear imagery and the launch of a lungerie campaign in November 2011 which featured a 58-year-old model.

“Our customers are not the same shape or size so our latest look book celebrates this diversity,” explained Debenhams’ Director of PR Ed Watson.

“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.”

Last year, the department store, which last month issued a profit warning following a 10 per cent like-for-like sales fall over the two snow-affected weeks in January, won a Body Confidence Award for its ongoing commitment to depicting diversity.

The upcoming look book will also feature alternative model, Kelly, born without her left forearm and discovered when she won TV show ‘Missing Next Top Model’, size six model Tess who is just over five feet tall and 69-year-old Valerie in a bid to push boundaries and offer variety.

Franklin said: “To showcase the range of sizes and labels at Debenhams this season, we chose models to inspire us with their own unique looks and personalities.

“I loved seeing the way that clothes emboldened each woman and man and I loved being on a shoot where no two models were the same.

“As a commentator on the importance of seeing a broader range of body and beauty ideals in our media, I never underestimate the power of great clothes to bolster self-esteem, or the impact of imagery that celebrates difference.”

Published on Monday 08 April by Editorial Assistant

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