When thinking of fashion campaigns that plaster the sides of buses and pepper the pages of fashion bibles around the globe, genetically blessed models with long limbs and dewy complexions are what we’d expect to see. But, increasingly, the fashion industry’s tightly held reigns on its definition of the ‘perfect fit’ are starting to release, with diversity of size, age, ethnicity and gender featuring more predominantly on runways and in photo shoots. And this progressive shift is becoming more evident with influential folk like Lena Dunham publicly slamming the use of her photo to promote weight loss, and the fashion community’s resounding applause at the appointment of Edward Enninful to take the helm of Vogue UK.
In the latest triumph for fashion, Swedish luxury brand Acne Studios has enlisted supermodel Veruschka von Lehndorff to be the face of its Resort ’18 campaign. First finding high acclaim in the ’60s, the now 78-year-old is seen power posing in cropped frayed denim, quirky plaid suiting and patterned leather, and looking very much the part all ’round. This is not a first for the brand, either, with its Spring ’17 campaign also championing diversity by featuring creatives from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds, including Fatima Al Qadiri, the Kuwait-born musician and artist; Hayv Kahraman, the Iraqi-born, Sweden-based artist; Sadaf H. Nava, a New York-based performance artist born in Iran; Yasmina Benabdelkrim, a Paris- and New York-based stylist; Negar Azimi, a New York-based editor; and Golshifteh Farahani, an Iranian actress, musician and singer.
The creative director of the brand, Jonny Johansson, has said of the spring campaign: “We preferred not to work with models for this campaign, but rather with women in creative professions such as art and music… we had a vision of finding a strong and creative group. One name lead to the other and, at the day of the shoot, we realised that they all knew each other…This collection is about openness and looking out into the world.”
From a business standpoint, representing diversity is also a savvy move. According to Business of Fashion, “Since 2007, Asia-Pacific’s share of the global luxury goods market has grown by 10 percentage points and today the fastest growing luxury markets in the world are the Middle East and Africa.”