Inclusivity and social activism are at the top of fashion's agenda. Fashion brand River Island knows that too well and has now enlisted (amongst others) a gorgeous model with Down Syndrome, a body activist with a prosthetic leg, and a wheelchair basketball star in its new autumn winter 2018 campaign named "Labels Are For Clothes".
The campaign is already creating waves on social media, with many commending River Island for its quest for equality. "Labels Are For Clothes" has quickly become a success with the general public, offering a well-rounded approach to body inclusivity, which isn’t just about bigger sizes. The message, as River Island itself explains, is to bring down stereotypes and champion self-expression.
This wave of inclusive marketing is making my heart sing & I hope it stays forever. I never want this to be seen as a fad or a publicity stunt - ALL campaigns should look like this because it's what our beautiful world looks like. I salute you @riverisland #labelsareforclothes 💯 pic.twitter.com/1VpGpGabIk— Delphine Chui (@delphinechui) September 17, 2018
Twitterers have dubbed it the most inclusive fashion ad campaign around, applauding its positivity and authenticity. Everyone seems to be onboard with its powerful message right now. And why not? A quick look at the cast’s unique and talented personalities is enough to fall in love with its fresh message.
Featuring Paralympic athlete Jordan Luce who uses a wheelchair, model Kathleen Humberstone who has Down Syndrome, as well as the Haitian-American motivational speaker and model Mama Cax who lost her right leg to cancer, it tells people that fashion today is more than just clothes. And in case you are wondering, it doesn’t focus on the models’ disabilities, but rather on their unique personalities.
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We are LOVING the AW18 campaign @riverisland! Remember, always do you ❤️ . . . . . #labelsareforclothes #riverisland #fashion #style #AW18 #autumn #winter #wardrobe #clothes #unique #personality #positivevibes #goodvibesonly #inspiration #happy #positive #loveyourself #king #queen #family #friends #love
“Labels Are For Clothes” was originally launched earlier this year as an "anti-bullying" campaign marking the brand’s 30 year anniversary. It is the fruit of a collab with anti-bullying charity Ditch The Label. It previously included a transsexual model, a Pakistani model wearing a hijab and a plus-size model, all urging people to ditch labels. But obviously, more could be done about diversity and the new additions to the campaign are here to prove it.
Ultimately, let’s not forget that fashion’s shift to social activism and raising awareness isn’t just about a change of attitudes amongst retailers. Consumers today are less likely to part with their cash if there isn’t a bonus attached to it. And with other brands burning tonnes of unsold clothing, the situation in the fashion world today, is tricky, to say the least.