Disabled at Debenhams

by Katie on February 26, 2010

Today, Debenhams will become the first UK high street retailer to use disabled models in its advertising and window campaigns.

The fashion shoot, which will promote the recently launched Principles by Ben de Lisi fashion range, is set to appear in the windows of the Oxford Street flagship in London on Friday, 26th February.

While I genuinely applaud Debenhams for making this long overdue bold move and treating all women with respect, the credit has to go to it’s marketing department’s savvy for cocking a snoop at M&S and capturing the nation’s core obsession at the moment: inclusion.

In a double whammy marketing coup, last week, Debenhams also launched a trial of size 16 mannequins in its store windows. Signs next to the mannequins ask customers: ‘I’m a size 16. Do you want to see more of me?’. Be careful what you ask for, methinks.

On the back of shows like ‘How to Look Good Naked’ and ‘Embarrassing Bodies’, every one’s being encouraged to strip off and lay themselves open (sometimes quite literally in the case of Embarrassing Bodies).

I fully expect at some point soon, some brave marketing soul will endeavour to feature live nude models to sell fashion. Perhaps a TV show to select the nude models, to be voted by the public and featuring Simon Cowell would pull in viewers? Hopefully not nude.
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