If fashion is one of society’s most revealing cultural touchstones, then it looks like we’re ready for change.
Diversity in the fashion industry has been rightly scrutinised for its presence – or lack thereof – for years. Now it seems like the issue has hit peak public consciousness. We are responding to realness like never before. The proof is in the pudding, with global retailers like H&M and Uniqlo tapping a diverse range of talent for recent campaigns.
But there’s been a crew of local labels celebrating the full spectrum of female beauty long before the high street cottoned on to the idea. Here are four of our faves.
Discount Universe is a bit like that cool friend you had in high school who had confidence from the get-go, while the rest of us insufferably tried to assimilate with the Supré army. Sported by stars such as Rihanna, Grimes and Beyoncé, the brand is known for its aggressive love of sequins and statement-making street style aesthetic. But the brand’s real influence lies in the way it actively embraces the weird, the unconventional, the young and the old. As long as you’ve got the spirit of the glitter daze, no rules apply.
Unapologetically sexy, the Hopeless Lingerie girl is on board with the art of seduction. Hell, she could’ve invented the art itself. With a femme fatale aesthetic, the Melbourne-based brand advocates body positivity across all channels. But particularly through its Instagram account, where you’ll find the dangerous curves of the female body celebrated in every form. It’d be almost impossible to wear Hopeless and not feel hot as hell. Oh, and did we mention they will custom make to any size?
NZ brand Lonely is the OG when it comes to championing women of all shapes and sizes. If ever there was proof that lacy, romantic lingerie is not restricted to the Lily Aldridge’s of the world, this is it. Lonely has shunned traditional marketing from the get-go, favouring a more natural approach via its Lonely Girls project – a direct line of communication with customers. In a world of airbrushed Angels, Lonely hooks you in with raw realness. Truth is beauty, you know?
The Sister Studios girl is both your role model and your best mate. She’s the kind of girl who can wear a powder blue jumpsuit and not think twice about it. And you want to get to know her better. Luckily, the brand is gaining traction with every new collection released. Focusing on a blend of wardrobe classics and seasonal injections of colour and cut, their most recent campaign features street cast models who prove you don’t need a tan and a six pack to make us feel all the goals.
This article was originally published in Fashion Journal 162. You can read it here.