London: Debenhams, the High Street retailer, is set to ban the use of airbrushing of fashion models in its adverts, the company revealed in an announcement.
Executives at the store said they were “breaking ranks” with the retail and fashion industries after it unveiled a new campaign that used models with “natural beauty”.
The company posted an 18 per cent improvement in profits to 123.6 million pounds last year,
And yesterday, it released a set of images, which disclosed the controversial airbrushing tricks that are often used in the fashion industry.
In the campaign, which will be displayed in its flagship store in Oxford Street, central London, the near-flawless bikini model has been enhanced with subtle electronically improvements.
Her body has been digitally enhanced to reduce her waist size, boost her cleavage, slim her legs and arms, remove any blemishes from her face, plump her lips, delete dark rings around her eyes and improve her silhouette.
And adjacent to it is another image, which has not been altered.
A sign in store windows reads: “We’ve not messed with natural beauty; this image is unairbrushed. What do you think?”
Concerns have been raised about the use of airbrushing by fashion magazines and retailers, which, according to critics, created an unrealistic view of female beauty.
The company, which used size 16 mannequins in some of its window advertisements as well as hiring disabled models, said it wanted to expose what it called the “unnecessary airbrushing” that is rife in the industry.
It vowed to ban the practice in all future publicity campaigns and fashion catalogues.
“This is the first of hopefully many. This is really about natural beauty. What we want to do is talk about it with our customers then roll it out across the country and forever more,” the Telegraph quoted a Debenhams spokeswoman as saying.
Mark Woods, the retailer’s director of creative and visual, said the company “as a rule” used to airbrush “minor” flaws such as pigmentation or stray hair but would no longer.
The move got thumbs up from campaigners and the fashion industry alike.