Shorntay Allen, born in North London has recently flown the flag for Women of Colour everywhere by taking part in Scantilly by Curvy Kate’s next edition of the #TheNewSexy campaign. This season’s campaign shares another diverse line-up of powerful females ready to challenge mainstream perceptions of ‘sexy’. The new boudoir collection is modelled by women with an array of skin tones, body shapes, backgrounds, abilities and ages; all with the aim of celebrating the beautiful diversity of women.
Shorntay Allen, 31, whose family originate from the Caribbean, wanted to take part in the campaign as she hoped to draw attention to the lack of representation women of colour receive within the fashion industry. From a family who have all experienced racial prejudice and racism at some point, Shorntay is passionate about everybody being treated equally.
Shorntay states, “I don’t feel like women of colour make up nearly enough of the mainstream media and as a result, I 100% feel under-represented as a young black woman. The last couple of years have been difficult for race relations, with the murders of innocent people of colour and the resulting Black Lives Matter campaign in the USA. On top of this, 2016 in particular has been a difficult year with Brexit and the recent election of Donald Trump. It’s evident that a lot of far right and xenophobic views have come to the surface as a direct result of both, particularly on social media, which I feel has increased tensions between races and cultures ten-fold.”
She continued, “One of the ways to help rectify this in my opinion would be a huge push to emphasise the diversity of people on the planet to show that we are all important and needed. The simplest way of achieving this would be having a greater representation of non-white models/actors/actresses/people in mainstream media. It will not only help encourage acceptance, but teach the younger generation that we live in a world where EVERYONE is valued and should be treated respectfully.”
The 2011 nationwide census told of 2 million Black people living in the UK, making up 3% of the population, which is a shocking statistic considering the lack of ethnic diversity seen in advertising. This absence is supported by a report run by The Fashion Spot in November 2016, exploring the range of models cast for Autumn/Winter Fashion Campaigns, found that only 23.3% of the models we’re of colour, only 4.1% were over the age of 50 and a disappointingly low 3.2% were plus size (over a UK size 16). #TheNewSexy has challenged these biases with models from all walks of life and, in the process, inspired people around the world to love their bodies.
Following the overwhelming success of the first campaign, the original stars were invited to select the next generation of inspiring models. Through this ‘Pay-it-forward’ system, eight women were chosen and photographed in the new Scantilly boudoir collection. These icons will be the core of the brand’s marketing plan and signify a new era for diversity in the fashion industry and wider.
Head of PR and Marketing, Hannah Isichei follows: “The use of diverse role models should no longer be news worthy; it’s something all companies should practice in all areas. #TheNewSexy campaign isn’t a one-off. Women of all shapes, sizes and looks model our collections as we believe a larger variety of models should be seen by all. Society isn’t made up of one woman and we know our customers are all different, so why not give them someone they can recognise.”
When speaking of the need for the campaign, Shorntay says, “Diversity is an everyday thing and is all around us. It’s what we see when we walk down the road or go to the shops. So I think it’s important that the industry tries it’s best to represent exactly that. I’m not sure why the number of non-white models is so low, when the number of non-white stunning women is so high. It doesn’t make sense to me. I can only hope that campaigns like these slowly turn things around in our favour. The “westernised” concept of beauty is not the only concept of beauty and the sooner the industry realises and represents all kinds, the sooner people in general will feel more secure in themselves.”
The fourth Scantilly collection is available through curvykate.com, Debenhams, Bare Necessities (US) and Figleaves. The range including peep-hole briefs, sexy suspenders, half cup balcony bras and sheer basques is available in sizes DD-HH cups and S-XL. For more information please visit: www.curvykate.com.
For the next installment of the campaign with Diana, click here.
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