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“In terms of diversity having witnessed, against all odds, a man of colour takeresidency in the aptly called White House, my hope is – Yes, We CAN.”
Debra Bourne, Co. Founder, All Walks Beyond The Catwalk
Teen Vogue loves powerful women and this statement fills us with hope. So whatis All Walks Beyond The Catwalk?
Originally Beat (The national charity for eating disorders), asked the BritishFashion Council to create a fashion event about inspiring bodies. The ideawas not accepted but Caryn Franklin (fashion expert and TV presenter), DebraBourne and Erin O’Connor decided they could start up something similar: “a highlevel industry standard concept.”
The message behind All Walks Beyond The Catwalk is that all shapes, sizesand colour are beautiful. They would like more diversity on the catwalk and arecreating imagery that reflects these values.
Firstly, there was the i-D shoot and then a launch party at the September ’09London Fashion Week at Somerset House.
All Walks Beyond The Catwalk knows that the “perfect body” promoted by thefashion industry is not realistic: only two percent of the population can be asupermodel: we are all not 5”10 and a size six.
“Beauty is not a reflection of a perfect set of statistics”
Debra says: “Within the industry we are noticing people’s attitudes are changing.More curvy models are walking the runways and in magazine spreads. Howeverthe fashion industry does like a trend. At All Walks Beyond The Catwalk our workis committed to longevity beyond Trend Curve.”
All Walks Beyond The Catwalk gave their eight designers the opportunity tomake a difference with their work. They were asked to consider the model’s ownbody before creating a piece.
They produced brochures, which were sent to every editor visiting LondonFashion Week.
The web site has testimonials from designers and models, expressing the needfor change.
Debra says: “We have witnessed designers like William Tempest, integrating theidea of diversity through model castings for the February 2010 catwalk shows.As well as Mark Fast, the designer we introduced to Hayley Morley, who is alsocontinuing to work with models like Crystal Renn.
“We want to simply expand on what is on offer. Something as simple as showingmodels that represent a more realistic mirror to the women on the street in topend designer clothing. Not such a big deal.”
All Walks Beyond The Catwalk simply asks those of us in positions of power, canwe change anything? Should we be listening to these statistics? (The increasein numbers of people suffering from eating disorders and other mental healthissues.) Could we contribute positively to this matter? And creatively how might areturn to acknowledging a more individual approach benefit?
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