In the third episode of Alexa Chung's "The Future of Fashion" web series for Vogue UK, she tackles the touchy issue of body image and diversity in fashion — or lack thereof. This is already a hot topic this week due to Gigi Hadid's poignant note to body shamers online, and one that Chung's dealt with for years in her own career. The host admits that it's hurtful to get called "scrawny" or too thin with such frequency (and that she often wishes she looked more like voluptuous "It" Brit Daisy Lowe).
But instead of approaching the issue through the perspective of models or the impressionable younger generations that are most affected by the kinds of people they see on the runways and in advertisements, Chung frames her approach through an academic and historical lens. She interviews Dr. Carolyn Mair from the London College of Fashion, who aims to produce graduates who can help make the industry more ethical, more caring and more willing to fight tokenism when it comes to model castings. In fact, Mair says her studies have shown that diversity in fashion imagery increases sales. Chung also sits down with "fashion oracle" and former i-D editor Caryn Franklin, who's known for her work on the BBC's "The Clothes Show" in the '80s, where she covered street style in action. Franklin's experience allows her to provide historical context for British runway fashion, too.
Chung's conclusion is that in an era when a model's social media personality dictates her professional success and brands can launch businesses independently online, the industry has never had so many avenues for empowering diversity and body positivity. A prime example? Chung's own smart and approachable series.
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