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Curve modelling | Real Inclusivity VS tokenism

Curve modelling is one of the most popular divisions at the moment, but the fashion industry still has miles to go.

The world is opening up to more sizes – the audience is demanding them – and high-end fashion houses embrace curves, enlisting curve models like Ashley Graham, Robyn Lowley, Jill Kortleve, Crystal Renn, Paloma Elsesser, Sabina Carlsson and Candice Huffinn in their runway army.

However, even though labels like Alexander McQueen, Fendi, MUGLER, Michael Kors, Jacquemus and Chanel glorify curves this year, the same doesn’t happen when the runway and campaign spotlights switch off.

The truth is that not all curves are represented in fashion

In both pret-a-porter and high fashion runways as well as editorials, inclusivity stars more so as a token character rather than a protagonist.

Diversity in the fashion industry and mainstream media is often turned into a banner for the sake of being politically correct or to avoid backlash.

The same way someone’s worth shouldn’t be quantified by their size, inclusivity shouldn’t either by placing a quota on diversity.

We can’t have real diversity unless we cater for it

Being Australia’s biggest photography studios, we provide a safe space for clients to capture their moments of empowerment. Here, where creatives and brands shoot their editorial work and models come to build their portfolios, we face this ‘exclusive’ and divisive side of fashion regularly.

We see beautiful women who love their curves struggle to dress and adorn them. This is not because they are insecure but because the fashion brands that dictate the trends, or almost everything that is hyped does not exist in their sizes.

Meanwhile, the existing plus size brands use a one-shape-fits-all mentality when it comes to pattern production leaving women who don’t fall under the ‘hourglass figure’ category out.

Sample sizes for everyone

We ourselves have launched Curve Model Searches and shot fashion editorials for curvier bodies, and almost every time we got roadblocked by the lack of sample sizes over 6 & 8.

While quotas can help bridge the issue of exclusion, in reality, if a brand or magazine is not truly investing in representing diversity – AKA all people – all year round, how can true change come about?

The fashion industry, thanks to all the body positive activists and voices of reason out there, has finally recognised that inclusivity has to happen. However, why is there a struggle every single time we choose to work with a model that is over the sample sizing?

At this stage, creatives wanting to implement true diversity have to either give up, or spend a fortune on purchasing garments in the right size (if available) that will only be used once.

Breaking fashion stereotypes

Like we said before, we can’t help but wonder that – if demand determines supply- why is there not enough supply in the sizes that most consumers demand?

As much as agencies are able to recognise talent in the curve modelling category, they can’t offer them representation if they already know their clients (brands and magazines) are not looking to hire them!

At The Photo Studio, we stand for diversity and equal representation in fashion

We have come a long way but there are still many stereotypes that need breaking.

The fact is, we still need to see more references of women across a much broader size range than we have had.

Producing relevant and stylish clothing for all age groups and fits is how fashion labels can thrive in the future while inspiring all of us to embrace our unique identity and step forward.

Size does not and should not determine beauty and worth.
Including more body types does not mean lowering standards, it means raising them!


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