If you could recall, in the 2000s, the fashion industry flooded global cities and streets with homogenous images of skinny, fair-skinned, Caucasian models, defining a strict and myopic ideal of beauty. In November 2013, models Naomi Campbell, Zara Mohamed Abdulmajid or Iman and Bethann Hardison launched "Diversity Coalition" in response. "The absence of people of colour on the runways and photography reinforces to our young girls that they are not beautiful enough, that they are not acceptable enough," Iman told CNN in an interview. "The diversity that we live in, the world that we live in, is not what is shown on the runway. That to me is the concern. It's a bigger issue at large than just about runway and models."
That marked the beginning of the recent call for increased diversity in the fashion industry — one which continues to urgently reverberate through the industry today. The industry has seen the conversation notably pronounced in the image-making arms — model casting, runway representation, and seasonal campaigns.
The latest is perhaps the 66-year-old Italian apparel brand, Moncler's Beyond campaign which launched today. Shot by the 54-year-old British photographer Craig McDean, the monochromatic campaign features 19 individuals from different nations and professions. They include actresses, actors, artists, musicians, cosmonauts, race car drivers, chefs, and freedivers amongst many others.
On the message behind this campaign, the brand expressed, "When it comes to human beings, identity is a matter of individuality... diversity is strength." By their choice of title, "Beyond," the brand is referring to the tenacity of the featured individuals and the brand's propensity for "freedom and goodwill" in their works. "Moncler goes beyond fashion, straight into life, and counts on nineteen voices to send out its message." Now, instead of gangly models, actual people who wear the brand's clothes wholly front the brands' campaigns — quite unlike what image-making used to be a decade ago in the fashion industry.
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