By now, you’d expect most fashion brands to be aware that their customers aren’t all white, young or thin. Sadly, still, some companies just don’t seem to get it.
Solid & Stripe, a swimwear line made for millennials, is the latest fashion label to come under fire for being completely ignorant to the word “diversity.” In its recent Spring/Summer 2018 collection campaign, 13 models were snapped wearing some version of a white swimsuit, each linking arms with one another, on a white sandy beach, perfect azure water lapping in the background. The problem, if it doesn’t jump out at you immediately, is that only one of the models, Jourdan Dunn, is of a different ethnicity.
Where was the casting agent and why did they think it was a good idea to only hire one non-white model!? With all of the talent on set the day of the campaign shoot — Bjorn Iooss playing photographer, Carine Roitfeld styling and Jim Kaemmerling acting as creative director — you’ve got to imagine someone noticed the lack of cultural representation. Why didn’t anyone speak up?
Almost worse is that Dunn was placed in the centre of the line up with six white models, like Lily Aldridge, Elsa Hosk, Barbara Palvin and Jess Hart, on either side. It feels like the brand was attempting to tout its single token person of colour by standing Dunn smack dab in the middle.
The single shots of Dunn are insanely beautiful. Why can’t we have more of this!?
People aren’t shying away from letting Solid & Stripe know exactly how its lack of representation has made them feel on Instagram.
“This campaign is BORING. Show me the variety. No denying each of these girls are beautiful but it’s just plain dull. Nobody in 2018 is content with seeing a dozen women all looking the same. We want to see people in different heights and shapes from different backgrounds. I’m out,” wrote @becroo_.
“Umm this is ridiculous. The blatant disregard for diversity,” writes Instagram user @maia_1.
“We love Jourdan but why is she the only black girl and only woman of color? 🤔 How are you ok with having 12 white girls but only 1 black one?” asked another, @kapriceinreallife.
The brand also photographed an exclusive calendar that ties to the campaign, nearly each model taking her own month. Iooss, the photographer, gave a sneak peak (Dunn’s isn’t show, in case you’re looking):
All 13 of the models in Solid & Stripe’s SS18 campaign are gorgeous in their own right, yes, but it’s time brands make a point to be more inclusive and show an honest representation of what women really look like. Hopefully, with the power of social media lending a voice to the masses, brands will start listening and make appropriate changes to how and what it takes to market.