May 06, 2021

5 fashion brands around the world championing inclusivity

Inclusivity fashion

1. Gucci

Gucci has cemented itself as an iconic luxury brand around the world. Even those who don’t care for or follow high end designer brands would be able to name Gucci as one of the most well-known. But last year, the iconic fashion house made headlines for something other than its latest collection. 

As part of the rollout of its new L’Obscur mascara in June 2020, Gucci featured Ellie Goldstein as the face of its new collection. 

At the time, 18-year-old Ellie – a model from Essex, UK with Down Syndrome – championed the fashion house’s new campaign, making her the first model with Down Syndrome to be signed by a high end luxury brand. 

Ellie has since gone on to feature in Vogue, and has been the covergirl for magazines like Allure, Glamour and ELLE.

2. Kmart

Kmart has been a household name for decades. The home of stylish and affordable homewares, clothes, accessories and kids toys, the department store has a place in the homes of just about everyone, whether it’s a couple of cushions, an on-trend piece of kitchenware or an entire wardrobe. 

But it has also been a big player in promoting inclusivity, particularly among children. In 2016, the Easter catalogue released by Kmart featured a little boy with Down Syndrome, and another little boy who was using a walker. This representation garnered positive reactions from around the country. 

Original image source: kmart.com.au

The company has also started stocking Inclusion Dolls, which feature a little boy and girl called Charlie and Amelia, who have Down Syndrome, along with other ranges of dolls featuring differing physical differences such as requiring wheelchairs and crutches. 

3. Tommy Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger may not be one of the first brands when you think of accessible fashion, but in 2017 the fashion house launched its Tommy Adaptive range. This range was designed to help children and adults with physical and mental disabilities dress themselves, and feel good about what they were wearing. 

Each piece in the collection features some kind of accessible feature – magnetic closures, one-handed zips, extended openings – which gives people with disabilities the confidence and ability to get in and out of their clothes without assistance. 

Image: Instagram @ipead

Never sacrificing fashion for form, the Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive range gave people living with disabilities a fashion-forward option, designed with them specifically in mind, and there to support them as they grow.  

4. H&M

H&M has been a household name in the UK and Europe for years now, but only fairly recently reached Australian shores, championing well-made, high-quality basics and seasonal pieces that follow trends while keeping it timeless. 

It has also been making waves in the inclusivity arena of fashion modelling. In 2016, the face of its summer swimsuit collection was Gillean McLeod. At the time, the 59-year-old stylist-come-model graced the marketing and advertising pages of the fashion brand’s swimwear collection in a classic one-piece. 

Image: Instagram @H&M

Starting her modelling career after she turned 50, Gillean’s timeless beauty brought inclusivity to the forefront of H&M’s summer collection. 

5. Fenty

From the moment the Fenty brand burst onto the fashion and beauty market, founder and CEO Rhianna Fenty ensured that the brand positioned itself at the forefront of inclusivity. This was no more demonstrated than in the Savage x Fenty runway shows. 

Modelling the lingerie line on bodies of all types – many of which are not commonly associated with lingerie brands – Savage x Fenty made headlines around the world for its body positivity and inclusivity. 

Image: Instagram @mamacax

Featuring plus-sized models, older models, models with prosthetic limbs, drag queens – and who could forget Slick Woods, who at 9 months pregnant, began going into labour while walking in Savage x Fenty’s first runway show in 2018. Savage x Fenty is writing the book on fashion inclusivity. 

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  1. How wonderful and about time; hopefully their lead will flow on to wider community inclusion

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