If there’s one thing that designer brands should learn
— it’s to listen to their target market and be sensitive of their needs. But more often than not, high fashion brands dictate the standards that it want its audiences to embody, and not the other way around. Certain restrictive beauty, body and overall image standards are often portrayed in their promotional materials and it inevitably alienates its market. This creates a vicious cycle and a negative effect not only on the brand’s reputation, but also blurs the message that it wants to get across through its products—that just because it’s expensive, it has to be exclusive. And this shouldn’t be the case.
Louis Vuitton is breaking this cycle through its new pre fall 2019 lookbook that highlighted diversity by including models and actors from Thailand, China, and South Korea alongside those from the US and Europe.
Creative director Nicolas Ghesquière apparently chose the models, and he’s hoping to make the brand more inclusive to start the year.
Another groundbreaking model who was included in the campaign is transgender model and actor Indya Moore, star of “Pose.” It is the first time the luxury brand has added a transgender person of color to their lookbook.
As Moore wrote on Instagram, “@louisvuitton’s @nicolasghesquiere makes history with their decision to cast me, their 1st (not last) openly trans woman of color for their pre-fall ss19 campaign. I am so honored to hold this iconic floral louis bag & to be part of this movement in fashion to reflect the reality of the varying types of people & women that exist and invest in this industry.”
She added that she was “So thankful & excited to see more fashion brands follow suit in diversifying their representations of humans/bodies in the fashion world. As we all know- fashion has influenced world culture in undeniable ways & continues to. It is our responsibility as people who’s bodies carry fashion over to it’s destinations- & not allow clothes we wear to define us.”
In her Instagram post Moore added, “As a trans person of color via Bronx, NY I’ve commanded ownership over my body by demanding my freedom, right, the space to exist as my true self & place in this world. i’ve endured the consequences for applying absolute value to a life, my life- who’s worth is still up for debate today. I’ve endured the consequences for daring to define my existence as worthy & my worth as a valuable.”
“I’ve risked it all, lost everything even myself many times to defy the denial of my life’s essentialism, necessity to be here, belong & be loved. I vow to continue to do so & inspire safe space through every part I take, every piece I wear & from every platform I speak- till living your true self is not a privilege anymore.”
Brands should take note. Particularly Dolce and Gabbana, whose creative director Domenico has been embroiled in a series of controversies because of his racist, hate comments online, as well as insensitive designs. The latest scuffle that hit the luxury Italian brand hard was its video campaign featuring a Chinese model using chopsticks to eat pizza and pasta. This has irked netizens and the Chinese so much that Dolce and Gabbana stores in China were closed or boycotted.
We hope that many more designers will realize that fashion is for everyone, regardless of race, body type, socio-economic backgrounds, gender, or orientation.
Photo credit: Louis Vuitton Instagram