With ‘diversity’ being a major buzzword, plenty of campaigns have arisen that proclaim to show a wide range of bodies. Yet many simply end up being displays of young, white-washed, one-size individuals.
Aerie is one label that refuses to bow down to the commercial nature of the fashion industry. A lingerie line by American Eagle, it is known for its airbrush-free images and has given a major platform to ‘real’ models such as Iskra Lawrence.
The brand has upped the ante once again with its latest campaign. Teaming up with the All Woman Project, the black-and-white shots see an honest portrayal of modern society.
Models including Lawrence are sat next to the likes of 63-year-old fashion icon Lyn Slater, pro-surfer Quincy Davis and proud women of colour including Khoudia Diop and a pregnant Mari Agory. Every image is completely natural and un-retouched, proving that Photoshop is simply not needed.
The All Woman Project was started last year by models Charli Howard and Clémentine Desseaux. Their aim is to provide a different – and more realistic – view of women. And they’re definitely not afraid to show off their ‘flaws’ from cellulite to scars.
“I think [what] we, and brands like Aerie, are showcasing is that there is huge profitability in diversity. Women want to see their shapes and colours represented, and brands are beginning to see how lucrative that can be,” Howard recently told Vogue.
“What’s started as a body-positive movement on Instagram has begun to creep its way into mainstream fashion and publications. It’s also very interesting that the rise in diversity in mainstream media coincides with the political climate we’re in. Women are choosing to showcase their flaws and imperfections against someone who thinks women are just objects.”
Speaking on why the duo picked Aerie to collaborate with, Desseaux commented: “They were the most natural and organic choice for us since they have been body-positive advocates since the start. It needs to be a collaborative effort. It can’t just start with one person or sector in the industry.
Aerie knows all too well the benefits of what unfortunately still is a brave move. Their profits have soared since they started the #AerieREAL campaign back in 2014 with sales growing by 20% in 2015 and 21% in the third quarter of 2016.
Perhaps more brands will finally take note.