20th March 2017
Leading the way not only in product design, but also by building awareness of an industry shift, Proportion London recently hosted an exclusive and thought provoking event where the conversation was anchored by diversity and a fashion-for-all approach.
An expert panel of three (Industry campaigner - Debra Bourne, Model - Samantha Bolger and Proportion’s Creative Director - Tanya Reynolds), spoke about the importance of diversity within the fashion and retail industry, from a brand perspective and individually as human beings. Resonating with an audience of industry professionals, the message was powerful and inspiring; we all have body hang-ups, and none of us are the same shape or size, however, we should all receive the same fashion experience, regardless.
More often than not plus-size collections are merchandised in a frumpy and out-dated way with the emphasis on clothing rather than fashion. But maybe that is because until now, there have been few outstanding VM options available on the market which will allow plus-size clothing to be presented in a contemporary and fashion forward way. Proportion London’s ground-breaking mannequin range; #IAM (which wears a UK size 14) has been extremely well-received, the general feedback being; the figure looks modern, it’s suited to all types of retail interiors, but over-all there’s an appreciation that a plus-size mannequin of this calibre now exists.
Creative Director of Proportion London, Tanya Reynolds says “as a mannequin designer I draw a lot of my inspiration from real people and real personalities. The #IAM range was developed to represent curvier women in a modern and positive way, with particular attention paid to sculpting a body that captures and compliments the contours of the shapelier figure. The finished mannequin is simply beautiful and it wears clothing extremely well.
Co-founder of All Walks Beyond The Catwalk, Debra Bourne MBE, spoke about her journey from the beginning of her campaigning over eight years ago, “It’s amazing to see the fashion industry and the retail marketplace shifting towards a more diverse way of thinking and seeing the public’s support for a more an inclusive and realistic representation of fashion.”
Model Samantha Bolger shared her experience and views, "As a curve model, my job is more than just wearing clothes, it's representing a different body shape within the fashion industry. I believe that your environment plays a crucial role in your self-worth and your idea of beauty, and no one should feel left out or under-represented in the media. Everyone should be able to have a positive fashion experience no matter what shape, size, race, gender identity or age, and it's great to see that retail will now have a contemporary and stylish size 14 mannequin option, with a diverse range of skin tones to add into the mix"
The event was undoubtedly a positive wake-up call, and with plus size models walking the catwalk and featuring on the front covers of fashion magazines, as well brand campaigns featuring different ages and races more than ever before, it’s time to join the movement and introduce real diversity in retail presentation too!