March – a month dedicated to highlighting the contributions and achievements of women to events in history and contemporary society. Many fashion brands have used this month as an opportunity to publicly showcase their support and engagement by embracing all types of models on the runways or through generous donations to relevant charities.
As part of a successful, empowering month for women, we should pay attention to the several brands that have clearly implemented authentic diversity casting in their recent fashion shows in 2019. According to Stylecaster, some have truly made an effort to exhibit a more inclusive runway. For example Chromat, who’s range of runway models corresponds to all types of women, or 11 Honoré’s show where every model who walked was curvy. Two of many brands that aren’t using diverse models to be trendy but who actually believe in the importance of the diversity and size inclusive movement. The recent variety of curvy and colored women walking the runways – and with that showing a growing power in casting diverse models, is giving us hope that inclusivity is becoming more than just a trend¹.
Enterprises backed by female founders used this month to come to the forefront of their brands to advocate for female empowerment. Influential examples are American fashion designer Diane von Fürstenberg (formerly Princess of Fürstenberg – now a fashion designer) who hosted a day of panels to celebrate the power of women’s voices or Donna Karan (American fashion designer) who accommodated an all-female art exhibit focused on identity and femininity. Other fashion brands such as Madewell, Forever 21 or many of Gap Inc.’s brands donated parts of their proceeds directly to charity².
Additionally, several female-driven celebrity collaborations were made – inspired to value this month as a marketing opportunity. Nike’s work with Serena Williams, Dove’s #MyHairMyCrown campaign with Kelly Rowland, as well as Walmart’s team-work with Sofia Vergara to launch a new inclusive denim line are just a few of the many collaborations³.
Evidently, Women’s History month serves not only as a reminder to celebrate women but also as an efficient marketing tool, as these unique campaigns grab the attention of thousands of people worldwide. It is the perfect opportunity for brands to develop customer engagement by proving that they care. However, it must be remembered that fashion brands should consistently throughout the entire year, embrace and celebrate the diversity of women (as well as men!). Because by including and empowering size inclusive and diverse models into the fashion industry, we get one step closer to a realistic portrayal of the world.