London Fashion Week has only just started, and everyone is already talking about the Simply Be catwalk show. Why? Because it’s the only runway featuring plus size models – Ashley Graham recently called out Rihanna’s Puma show for that reason.
The show featured models from a size 10 to a 26, a mix of influencers and celebrities including Tess Holliday, Marie Claire Curve columnist Hayley Hasselhoff, Callie Thorpe, Felicity Hayward, Kelly Knox, Sonny Turner and Ali Tate.
They modelled Simply Be’s new collection, which is available to buy now FYI, which included sheer dresses perfect for party season, incredible silver boots and a blue puffer jacket that has our name on it.
The show came about after research from Simply Be showed that 89% of the 2,000 women questioned didn’t feel that their size was represented in main stream advertising, on runways, on TV and in the fashion press. Last night’s show was a celebration showing that fashion is for everyone regardless of size or shape.
Hayley Hasselhoff commented, ‘When the guys at Simply Be asked me to be involved I jumped at the chance. The brand empowers women to be themselves and stand proud saying ‘this is me’. This message resonates with what I project out into the world… that the greatest gift is being connected to yourself and loving yourself for all that you are. It’s amazing to see Simply Be bringing more diversity on the runway because, after all, celebrating fashion shouldn’t be dependent on dress size. The Curve Catwalk is about representing beauty in all and empowering women to love themselves through fashion. I can’t wait to be involved.’
When we interviewed her last night, she emphasised that looking fabulous was all about how confident you felt in your own body, not about what size you are. ‘If you’re super confident, you’ll always look amazing, no matter your outfit’ she said.
Angela Spindler, chief executive N Brown Group, the owners of Simply Be said, ‘This isn’t about thin shaming – we just think it’s time we saw more diversity in terms of size in magazines, in advertising campaigns and on runways at fashion weeks around the globe. Something Simply Be has firmly embraced. After all it’s our job as clothing retailers to make customer feel great. The research clearly shows that having only one body ideal is impacting how people feel about themselves. Through the Curve Catwalk we want to celebrate curves and show that fashion is for everyone.’
‘Our research shows that many women feel they’re not catered for with trend-led high street fashion and this is where we come in; Simply Be exists to create amazing fashion collections off the back of consumer feedback… making our customers look and feel amazing, irrespective of size.’
Kelly Knox, Diversity campaigner and the UK’s leading disabled model, added: ‘Fashion should not be defined by ability, size, age, colour or gender choice. Fashion is for everybody.’
We couldn’t agree more.