Debenhams ad campaign stars Paralympic amputee

Debenhams is launching an ad campaign starring Paralympian amputee Stefanie Reid in the latest of its efforts to show diversity in its advertising.


Debenhams ad stars amputees as part of diverse range of models.

The latest campaign also features three models over 40, a 69 year old woman and a size 18 swimwear model.

The department store claims to be the first high street retailer to promote its fashion collections using a diverse range of models including amputees.

Debenhams says by “turning its back on the industry norm of young thin models” it is more accurately reflecting its customers and demonstrating a broader range of body and beauty ideals is a good thing.

It has previously featured size 16 mannequins in store, banned airbrushing in swimwear and lingerie campaigns and featured an older model over 50.

A spokesman for Debenhams says: “Our customers are not the same shape or size so our latest look book celebrates this diversity.  We would be delighted if others followed our lead.  Hopefully these shots will be a step, albeit a small one, towards more people feeling more comfortable about their bodies.”

The campaign is supported by Jo Swinson Minister for Women and Equalities. She says: “Once again Debenhams is showing that beauty comes in all forms - different skin colours, ages, body shapes and sizes. It was one of the first to introduce size 16 mannequins, and continues to send a clear message to the rest of the retail industry that many customers want to see more diverse and realistic images.

“I have long been concerned that idealised, unrealistic media images play a significant part in lowering self-esteem and reducing women’s confidence and contribution - at school, at work, and in society. 

Readers' comments (3)

  • Great to see women with disabilities represented along with able bodied young ladies.

    Fantastic step in the right direction.

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  • When a brand does CSR with a green initiative it is seen as green washing.

    When they complete a piece of CSR hi-lighting the (massive) lack of diversity in fashion models, it is seen as a "Fantastic step in the right direction."

    When will we use the same cynicism for all CSR?

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  • Really cool and they look stunning. Why's it taken so long?!

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