Scarlett & Jo’s Model Competition in London (April 23, 2016)
We believe passionately in body diversity, especially when it comes to what we see in fashion.
For years, there has been heated debates on what is truly “plus size” when it comes to the models used by retailers to promote their clothing. Some brands attempt to show diversity in empowering hashtag campaigns but choose to use models and/or bloggers that are close in size and none are above a size 20. Most have hourglass shapes and a flat tummy. What about other shapes and silhouettes?
Therefore, when we come across brands that use models of different shapes and sizes, we feel a need to put a spotlight on them in hopes of showing other retailers that true body diversity is important when marketing to your customers.
One brand that is definitely on our radar these days is UK-based plus size fashion brand Scarlett & Jo.
You may have seen the brand being sold on plus size retail websites such as Simply Be and Evans.
Scarlett & Jo has done a wonderful job of strengthening their relationship with customers simply by including them in their efforts, be it promotional or social. They use customers as models on their website and recently, held a model search, seeking the faces of Scarlett & Jo, Curvy Tall, Curvy Petite and S&J Bridal, their new plus bridal line.
The model search began with a call on Facebook to their over 20,000 followers, where they partnered with Ms Curvaceous UK to celebrate “all curvy women”, even stating that all of the women will be featured on their website, modeling pieces from the brand.
The result was a world record plus size photo shoot on April 23, 2016 and the largest fashion shoot ever in Europe with over 100 plus size women taking over London.
??WE LOVE YOU GIRLS??#scarlettandjo pic.twitter.com/2bMkCPGsfW
— Scarlett & Jo (@ScarlettandJo) April 23, 2016
The brand stated on its blog:
“The competition received such an overwhelming positive response that the competition had to close after 2 days having received over 200 applicants. As a result of this passionate attitude towards the brand, every applicant was invited to take part in the shoot.
Travelling from Europe and across the UK, representing women between the ages of 17 to 40+ with sizes 14 to 32 and from 4’10” to 6’3” – this is set to be the most inclusive fashion shoot. Three of the girls will also be lucky enough to win the Face of Curvy Petite, The Face of Curvy Tall, and finally The Face of Scarlett and Jo. These winners will be regularly featured throughout campaigns and on the website in promotion of the brand throughout the year. Alongside this prize, Ms Curvaceous UK have organised a national competition to become the new Ms C UK 2016 and The Face of Scarlett & Jo winner, will be automatically entered into the semi-final stage.”
Sounds like it was more of an empowering event than a model search and that’s an amazing thing. Just another reason to love Scarlett & Jo.
The finalists from the shoot have been announced and the brand has already chosen its face for the bridal line. In a few days, the other faces will be announced. You can check out the finalists here.
One finalist, 31-yr-old professional Jessica Nicholas, recently spoke to local newspaper Burton Mail about her experience:
“I can’t believe it, I’m so chuffed. I’ve always been comfortable as a plus-sized girl, but you see a lot of ‘plus-sized’ models who are beautiful and curvy, but are between a size 16 to 18. There are no models as big as me, but why shouldn’t you see the clothes on a bigger girl?”
She described the photo shoot and party afterwards as a bonding experience with other women who inspired her to be more confident about herself:
“It was so empowering to meet so many curvy women and it boosted my confidence. You always have a bit of anxiety that you will be the biggest one in the room, but there were women there representing every size.”
Nicholas had this to say about those who believe using larger models is promoting obesity:
“People say that it’s not a healthy body image to promote, and I’m not here saying that my life is the way people should live, but it is another way to show that you can be happy in whatever body you have.”
Congratulations to Nicholas and all the women who participated in the model competition. Scarlett & Jo are definitely setting the tone for how to celebrate body diversity in fashion so you don’t alienate your customers. We hope one day this becomes the norm for ALL plus size retailers and brands.
Click here to see more of Scarlett & Jo.