Diversity isn’t a trend, it’s a way of life …

At London Fashion Week Edeline Lee’s collection for Spring Summer ’18 featured several stunning hijabs, Simply Be debuted its ‘Curve Catwalk’ slap bang in the middle of LFW and Teatum Jones’ runway featured disabled models to challenge people’s perceptions of whole or perfect.

There is some cynicism about the diversity message that’s seems to be a common theme running through fashion & beauty right now, where some brands may be accused of ‘jumping on the diversity bandwagon’. This may be the case, however many companies are genuinely challenging social norms and broadcasting positive messages about tolerance & body image, and they’re living and breathing examples of brands using their platforms to do the right thing.

Julian Kynaston, our chairman and founder of Illamsqaua, which has recently been in the headlines with its hire of transgender model Munroe Bergof as the face of the brand – after she was sensationally sacked by another global brand for sharing her views on racism – comments on the movement: “It’s fantastic to see all cultures, abilities and genders being celebrated at last on the fashion & beauty stage, but we still have a way to go. The challenge for brands isn’t about getting on the bandwagon, it’s making sure they don’t fall off it… and to achieve this, diversity must be at heart of their business – not just their advertising campaign.

“Illamasqua has been committed to alternative subculture and human fundamentalism from day one – we’ve been spearheading the diversity message for more than 10 years and, believe me, people are serious about this. It’s all well and good paying lip service to diversity, but this could seriously backfire if they don’t live and breathe it… this is people’s lives, not just a bit of fun.”

We’re already excited to see what next February’s Fashion Week brings. Let’s hope things continue to move in the same direction.