Kay Customz displays diversity in kids’ toys

Children everywhere can now see themselves represented in their dolls, thanks to Kay Customz.

According to Hello Giggles, the custom-product company has designed a line of collectible  and customizable vitiligo dolls, putting the superficial skin disorder on the map and advocating for inclusivity with each doll’s unique appearance. Created by store owner Kay Black, Hello Giggles says Black hand paints the dolls to ensure that they match the skin of those who order the dolls.

Continuing her latent mission of equal representation, TODAY reports that Black tries to be inclusive to all people.

“My goal is to go beyond the average assembly line-looking doll, to make relatable and realistic works,” she told TODAY Style. “I find new and used dolls at different thrift stores and yard sales and use them as a canvas. I’ve created ones with red hair and freckles and others with albinism.”

Through her work, Black says she sees firsthand just how important it is to have everyone represented and accurately portrayed.

“People are literally in tears when they get their dolls,” she told People magazine. “I want to create dolls everyone can relate to.”

 

 

Graham gives fashion week advice

Ashely Graham knows a thing or two about injecting a bit of body diversity into the fashion industry, and at this season’s New York Fashion Week, she truly outdid herself by featuring all body types on the runway of her lingerie show for Addition Elle. But, the trailblazing model wishes she could say the same for other fashion shows.

According to Cosmopolitan, Graham told Yahoo Style that Rihanna’s Fenty x Puma show should have added curvier models to their already diverse lineup walking down the runway.

“I was at Fenty last night, and that was an amazing show. But how dope would it have been to see some curves on the runway?” she said, before adding that “it was a very diverse group of women, which was really nice.”

Hopefully, with more people like Graham speaking out on the lack of body diversity in the fashion industry, things will finally begin to change.

 

Diversity in fashion industry surpasses runway shows

The fashion industry inches closer to increased diversity every year, but this year, a new milestone was reached.

According to TheFashionSpot‘s Diversity Report, “fall ad campaigns were considered ‘more diverse’ than previous seasons when it comes to race representation, with models of color representing 30.4 percent of all female models cast,” Bustle reports. Examining 187 major fall campaigns which used a total of 457 female models, the report found that for the first time ever, fashion ads were more inclusive than runway shows.

Here are a few other noteworthy findings from TheFashionSpot‘s report:

  • The percentage of non-white models used in Fall 2017 campaigns increased to 30.4 percent, a 5.9 percent jump from the previous season and the site’s highest recorded increase to date.
  • Plus-size models starring in fashion ad campaigns experienced the slightest dip — 0.1 percent — to a measly 2.2 percent total, as plus models “accounted for just 10 of the 457 castings.”
  • Fall 2017 campaigns saw an increase in usage of both older models and transgender models, with 14 and six casting respectively out of a total 457 models cast.

TheFashionSpot‘s report also highlights the most and least diverse campaigns overall, notes Saint Laurent, Coach and Christian Dior as among the most diverse Fall 2017 campaigns, each boasting a rate of non-white models above 60 percent.

While there is clearly still work to be done in creating an inclusive and diverse fashion industry, every small step leads us to a more representative future.

Rees debuts Les Girls Les Boys line

Everyone deserves to feel comfortable and confident, and now, that is possible, thanks to a new gender-fluid lingerie collection.

Launched on Sept. 1, ELLE reports that Serena Rees, founder of popular lingerie company Les Provocateur, designed a 100-piece collection of gender-fluid intimates called Les Girls Les Boys. The line, which features “intimates, underwear, and streetwear that isn’t confined to one gender,” draws inspiration from streetwear, says ELLE, incorporating pieces such as graphic tees, sweats and sports bras.

While the line seems to have dropped from the sky, Rees reportedly began working on Les Girls Les Boys 18 months ago, according to ELLE, after “noticing the ‘disconnect’ between oversexualized concepts of lingerie and how young people now view sex and sexuality.”

But with these versatile, inclusive pieces, that void may be filled. Les Girls Les Boys also offers its pieces at an accessible price point, says ELLE, retailing between $25 and $143. The line is currently for sale at Nordstrom, Selfridges and on lesgirlslesboys.com.

Gap makes diversity a priority in new campaign

With a simple white T-shirt, Gap is making a big statement about the power of diversity.

According to Glamour, the retailer unveiled their “Bridging The Gap” campaign this week  in an attempt to “[celebrate] diversity and [champion] optimism through a lighthearted song and dance, directed and styled by British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful.”

But Enninful didn’t create the campaign alone — in fact, Glamour says he recruited an all-star cast to help, which included the likes of Priyanka Chopra, Maria Borges and Yara Shahidi, among many others. All wearing versions of Gap’s famous white T-shirts, Glamour reports the crew “all came together to sing the 1976 song ‘Sunny’ by Boney M. as a united front,” showing off both their individuality and their unity.

Speaking on the importance of the campaign, Chopra said in a press release that Bridging The Gap’s message of finding unity in diversity could not come at a more opportune time.

“‘Bridging the Gap’ is exactly what the world needs right now,” she said. “The most important one for me is empowering women; women need to be given an opportunity to stand on their feet and do the best they can for themselves.”

Check out the fun and inspiring video in its entirety here, and learn more about the campaign here.

 

Teen draws diversity-minded Google Doodle

It’s not every day that someone sees their drawing featured on Google, but for 15-year-old Sarah Harrison, that day came on March 31.

According to Teen Vogue, the Connecticut student entered a Google Doodle competition that asked students to submit their vision for the future; called A Peaceful Future, Harrison’s entry “depicts people of different identities smiling with their arms around one another,” which graced the Google search page last Friday. But that’s not all she received.

Teen Vogue reports that Harrison’s winning doodle also earned her a college scholarship worth $30,000, as well as the opportunity to work alongside the Google Doodle team in California — not to mention a $50,000 Google for Education technology grant is awarded her Connecticut school as a result of her talents.

But for Harrison, the opportunity was all about promoting a future with less hate and more love.

“My future is a world where we can all learn to love each other despite our religion, gender, race, ethnicity, or sexuality,” Harrison shared in a statement on Google’s website, according to Teen Vogue. “I dream of a future where everyone is safe and accepted wherever they go, whoever they are.”

Congratulations, Sarah!

Target makes lingerie representative

Target is on a roll: first, they unveiled their new and buzzworthy #TargetSwim campaign. Now, they are making lingerie more inclusive.

According to the Huffington Post, the retailer recently announced that their lingerie brands Merona and Xhiliration will now offer a wider variety of nude bras and undergarments to match diverse skin tones.

“At Target we know that women come in all shapes, sizes, and ethnicities, and our assortment needs to reflect their outfitting needs,” Michelle Wlazlo, Target’s senior vice president of apparel and accessories, said in a press release, Glamour reports. “As part of our continued commitment to inclusivity, our team did extensive research to expand our intimate offerings so guests can find the perfect shade of nude to match their skin tone.”

The new shades available — which include “cocoa, caramel, honey beige and mochaccino” — are just the first of Target’s plans to be more inclusive, Glamour says — in fact, their plans even include ” a collection of nude shoes in various shades—much like the brilliant, though not exactly accessible, Christian Louboutin “All Women” collection)—this fall.”

But for now, the new nude lingerie’s price will be pleasing to all budgets, reports HuffPost, with bras ranging between $10 and $17 and underwear priced at $5.

Way to go, Target!

 

 

Teigen takes on equal representation in modeling

Chrissy Teigen held back nothing in an exchange with E! News when it came to equal representation in both modeling and the entertainment industry at large.

According to Marie Claire, she told the entertainment news outlet that she wants it to become normal to see Asian models walk down the runway and even see broader representations of Asians in popular culture items, such as film.

“I think it’s really important to start embracing people…seeing them in roles that are not necessarily ‘That Asian Girl’ or ‘That Asian Boy,'” she said. “In movies you’re like ‘Oh, this Asian girl is dating this white guy’ — I want that to be normal.”

Refinery29 said she also touched on cultural appropriation, offering that there is a fine line being honoring and whitewashing a culture:

“I personally am not offended by cultural appropriation of any sort because I feel like it does pay homage, but at the same time there are a lot of beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Asian women that could do the same thing.”

 

 

 

Howard’s ‘Black Mirror’ reflects diversity problem in fashion industry

The fashion industry is slowly becoming more diverse; according to theFashionSpot‘s biannual diversity report,  25.4 percent of all models cast in New York, London, Paris and Milan fashion shows were models of color. Yet, despite an increase in more diverse models, the numbers show that the rate of transforming fashion into a more inclusive space is moving at a glacial pace: this recent percentage only increased by 3 percent.

That’s why Los-Angeles based model Deddeh Howard decided to take matters into her own hands. According to Yahoo Canada Style, the model is taking the industry to task in a new photo series entitled, “Black Mirror,” in which Howard recreates “major fashion campaigns that feature white models like Gigi Hadid, Gisele Bundchen and Kendall Jenner.”

Working with photographer Raffael Dickreuter, Yahoo says Howard explained on her site that she decided to tackle the lack of diversity head-on as a result of her personal experiences in the industry.

“Not too long ago it happened to me that I would walk into various fashion model agencies and I would immediately be compared to that one or two black model that they had on the roster. Even though I was told by those agencies that I have an amazing look and wish they could represent me, they already have a black model,” she wrote. “It seemed as if one or two black models on the roster are enough to represent us all.”

Stepping into the place of Kate Moss, Michelle Williams and Candice Swanepoel, Howard proves that she is just as stunning as her fellow models — and her Instagram followers certainly reinforced the meaning of her project. After releasing a few of the photos on her account, Yahoo says Howard has received praise and support in the form of “thousands of likes and comments.”

Writing on the importance of her photos, Yahoo reports that Howard expressed her hope that the photos are — at least — a first step in all women being seen.

“The visibility on these commercials and billboards matter as much as having elected a first black President. The next generation can only get inspired and reach for the stars themselves if they believe they can do it too…With this Black Mirror project I hope to show the world that it is time for all of us being seen.”

To see Howard’s gorgeous photos, click here.