Zara’s new marketing campaign is nice, however let’s speak concerning the lack of physique variety throughout the positioning

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I knew what the shopping site said, or what the average customer sees: tall, skinny women.

When Zara’s biennial fall studio collection landed in my inbox on October 14th, I was impressed by the powerful, emotionally charged black and white images by famous photographer Steven Meisel. The clothes also made me want to get dressed for autumn (but when does a Zara campaign not encourage shopping spree?). For a fast fashion brand that is committed to sustainability, you would hope that Spanish retail giant and its parent company Inditex – the world’s largest apparel supplier, BTW – also take steps towards diversity and inclusion. So I kept scrolling. But I didn’t really have to. Although I was delighted to see curvy models Precious Lee and Yumi Nu wrapped in dark flowers and wrapped in a delicious-looking plaid tweed coat, I knew what was on the pages of the shopping site, or what the average customer sees: tall, thin women.

Precious Lee and Yumi Nu did an incredible job. Lee recently walked the runways of Lanvin, Balmain and Versace in Europe, which historically lack size inclusiveness compared to New York. And Nu Models for big names like Jacquemus and Sports illustrated. Both women were also the only plus-size models on the September cover of Fashionaiming to focus on a diverse group of faces in the industry. I think it’s great that these two strong characters have been chosen Fashion and for Zara, but then I also expect both brands to deliver even more people with curves beyond their front pages and campaigns – like on the magazine pages or on the retail page.

Image source: zara.com

When it comes to Zara, this representation is limited. Aside from the current Halloween collection, each category you scroll through showcases the clothes of mostly tall, skinny women – the body type usually known in European fashion. The menswear section is pretty much the same as reflected in the same studio campaign, even though it was shot separately by David Sims. (Why we even have to split lines by gender is also a mystery to me.)

Zara is just one example of a hugely popular retailer with a billion-dollar brand value. It is visited by millions of people every day with an age demo that starts at 18. This is a time when most of us develop a lot of self-confidence and we grapple with our identity. What we wear plays a big role in this, so it would be nice to see a wider range of models – those with all different body types, backgrounds and skills – in the clothes we buy. And I know I don’t have to tell you the average US height of women is 14-18 because you’ve heard this before.

If you are not a luxury consumer and Fashion If your not shopping then it’s great that Precious Lee and Yumi Nu are now on Zara’s more accessible website, but representation should be the rule, not the exception. And I think we all know there are more than two curvy models out there who would rock a strong Zara campaign, not to mention the clothes we spend hours browsing through zara.com and introducing ourselves. After all, there are just as many eyes on these pages as on the cover of Fashion.

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