London Fashion Week kicks off today (check out Yahoo Style UK’s exclusive live coverage) and to help get it started, lingerie clad women staged a catwalk show on one of London’s biggest streets to celebrate body confidence.
Lingerie brand Bluebella recruited 19 fans of the brand to strut their stuff down Oxford Street’s makeshift catwalk dressed in nothing but their skimpy smalls.
Participants in the ‘Dare to Bare’ campaign included a medical PA, a company boss, four students, two actors, a musician, two writers and a fashion merchandiser.
Speaking about the campaign, Emily Bendell, Bluebella chief executive, said was a fun way to help promote body confidence and diversity within the fashion industry.
“We have a history of shoots demonstrating both our commitment to celebrating diversity in beauty and of celebrating the city around us and this was the most exciting yet,” she said.
The brand put a call out on Instagram looking for ‘models’ and were inundated with applicants.
“A lot of the women who posed had suffered from confidence issues in the past and saw this as a fun way of overcoming them,” Emily Bendell continues.
“All the women were amazing on the day. We only had 26 seconds for each take while the green man was flashing, so we had to be super quick. We had a fantastic response from the public who were cheering all the girls.”
“The girls perfectly represented our diverse and sassy Instagram family and they all looked incredible.”
Visual merchandiser Lexi Brown, 26, from Beckenham, Kent, had lost two-and-a-half stone after suffering from ulcerative colitis, which is similar to Crohn’s Disease.
“This was a great way to get some confidence back,” she said. “I was a little nervous but it was brilliant fun.”
Rachel Atherley-King, 23, a physiotherapy student at Brunel University in West London, thought posing would be a good way to prove she’d conquered her anxiety issues.
“It was a confidence test for me,” she explains. “I wanted to see if I had the guts to stand in the middle of London in my underwear.”
“I have had anxiety issues in the past where I didn’t do anything and I thought this was a good way of properly testing if I have overcome them. I think I have!”
The youngest model posing was Chilli McCormack, 18, a make-up worker from Stanford-le-Hope, Essex. She wanted to take part as she’s been an admirer of the brand’s ethos for a while.
“I’ve loved Bluebella for a long time – it is all about empowering women and its models always have strong, unique looks. It was a lot of fun and people’s reactions were great.”
Bluebella, one of the world’s fastest growing lingerie labels, raised £1 million through crowd-funding last year to drive rapid global expansion, particularly in America. Emily Bendell got the idea for Bluebella when she was studying at Oxford University and struggled to find fashion-led luxe lingerie at affordable prices.
It’s not the first time a brand has staged a pre-LFW stunt to help promote body confidence. Last year, seven plus-size models put on a protest against the fashion industry’s fixation on what’s often perceived as unhealthy thinness.
Ahead of London Fashion Week SS18, seven diverse models including plus size model, Iskra Lawrence, and disabled model, Kelly Knox, gathered to protest against the event’s obsession with size zero and called for models of more shapes, races and sizes to be included in its runway shows.
The aim was to help challenge the size six and below body ideal and promote confidence and self-respect, regardless of body shape and size.
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