Are Skinny White Models Bad For Business?
Finally ~ The Guardian says it….skinny white models may be bad for business. The debate over how small is too small and vice versa is nothing new in fashion. Who was it who said, “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.“? Or perhaps Jo Swinson calling for the banning of airbrushing that highlighted the craziness.
Either way, Ben Barry, a modeling agency CEO surveyed over 2000 women to understand the representation of females in fashion. His results were astounding, “My study found that women increased their purchase intentions by more than 200 percent when the models in the mock ads were their size. In the subgroup over size 6, women increased their purchase intentions by a dramatic 300 percent when they saw curvier models. Conversely, when women saw models who didn’t reflect their size, they decreased their purchase intentions by 60 percent, and women over size 6 dropped their purchase intentions by 76 percent.”
Barry took it a step further and delved into the issue of diversity. “My results weren’t limited to the issue of size. Consumers increased their purchase intentions by over 175 percent when they saw models who reflected their age; in particular, women over the age of 35 increased their purchase intentions by 200 percent when they saw older models. When models didn’t reflect their age, consumers decreased their purchase intentions by 64 percent. Furthermore, black consumers were 1.5 times more likely to purchase a product advertised by a black model.”
The full read is in Elle Canada but, indeed, brands may need to consider reality when creating their shows and products. Dove did it for its real women advertising campaign and struck pay dirt ~ the question I ponder: what do you really want to see when you look at the runway or an advertisement? You, or the aspirational you?
Monica Barnett writes about all things stylish and sophisticated, and focuses on curated style for Blueprint for Style, is a Personal Stylist with Shoe Dazzle, a Lucky Magazine Alpha Shopper, a contributor to TheRootDC, and can be found on Twitter using Blueprint4Style.