“I think that what this shoot shows is that whatever age, size or ethnicity you can send an aspirational message. It’s also about the creative team—and having top-notch fashion hair, makeup and photography. The images speak for themselves. They’re very powerful. They’ve very strong. The high fashion aesthetic is consistent for all the women who were photographed. I am thrilled!”
Elle Canada and Elle Québec are two magazines you must see this month! Inspired by the outpouring of positive response to Ben’s June 2012 Elle Canada article on his Cambridge University PhD marketing work focusing on the benefits of diversity in fashion, both magazines feature a stunning, diverse editorial for their May 2013 issues including our amazing models Emily, size 14, and Valerie, age 73, among others of all ages, sizes and ethnicities.
Elle Canada offers intimate interviews with the nine models featured in the Graphic Games editorial, allowing us to not just see their images, but to get to know how each model ticks as well. A fun, behind the scenes piece on the shoot with ET Canada showcases interviews with both Valerie and Ben and editor Noreen Flanagan. Valerie shocks the reporter with the history of her modelling career! Beautiful model Grace Mahary is on the cover.
Elle Québec features a different cover and we are thrilled to see curvy Canadian model Justine Le Gault gracing it. This issue also offers a spotlight on diversity including an interview with Ben. In this clip he discusses how he started the agency, his PhD work and how the shoot was inspired from reaction to his work and Elle Canada article.
And here are some great behind the scenes photos taken by master photographer – Ben!
We hope you celebrate these magazines and these inspiring editorials along with us!
Our model Emily recently did a fun shoot with photographer Kicka Witte in Hawaii. Enjoy the photos!
Ben Barry Agency model Katrina recently did a shoot with photographer Renata Kaveh and the results are stunning! Thrilled to be able to promote a positive body image, Katrina took some time to speak with videographer Jonathan Amar about how happy she is to be modelling as a size 12 in a fashion world she once thought had no place for her.
Scroll down to see her latest photos, watch the video to get a glimpse behind the scenes and hear what she has to say!
Photos: Renata Kaveh
Video: Jonathan Amar Productions
2012 was a fantastic year for diversity in fashion and the Ben Barry Agency and its models took every opportunity to shine in various shoots and projects, promoting body positivity at every turn. The growing momentum from 2012 carried over into 2013 with Ben recently sharing his University of Cambridge research on CBC’s The Lang and O’Leary Exchange while discussing the agency’s role in creating a more diverse fashion landscape.
Our models exude their positivity in all their work – be it a shoot, television appearance or a creative project.
We are thrilled to represent role models of all sizes, heights, backgrounds and abilities from their 20′s…
…through to their 70′s!
The agency was proud to take part in diverse runway projects. In March, Ben and Liis helped VAWK cast and train some of its consumers to walk the runway for its newly launched sister collection VAWKKIN. The women from all walks of life commanded the runways for World MasterCard Fashion Week!
In the fall, the agency helped Canada’s Allistyle launch its collection under the tents showcasing a diverse group of models sizes 10-18 and representing models in their 20′s, 30′s, 40′s and 50′s. This was the first runway show in Canadian history to have an entire line-up of curvy models – and all were Ben Barry Agency models!
Our models of all sizes and ages rocked television shows across Canada! Liis and Ben discussed the need for diversity in fashion with CBC National News.
Our models took to the World MasterCard Fashion Week runway on Friday October 26th taking part in the first curvy fashion show during any fashion week in Canada. In fact, it may very well have been the first show on any official fashion week schedule in North America. They modelled for Canadian company Allistyle, created by Pam Shainhouse, and it was the company’s first foray onto a major runway after its first turn at The Time is Now fashion show in November. With the line currently available in sizes 10-22, we are happy to have provided models ranging from sizes 10 through 18 and from their 20′s to 50′s.
We are very proud of our models for their turn on the runway and for making history. The show received many positive reviews and we were happy to speak with CBC News about the importance of diversity in fashion. We are looking forward to many more shows of this kind in the future and for the opportunity to bring more size and age diversity to the runways of the world. Here is a small sampling of the show looks. For all show photos and to learn more about this great company, please visit here.
Photos: George Pimental For IMG
Recently, superstar Lady Gaga found photos of herself splashed all over the media scrutinizing her weight, body shape and looks. The amount of analysis and speculation over a weight fluctuation reached alarming levels. Before and after photos were posted on many media outlets and her body became the topic of conversation on several television shows. Initially, she casually claimed she had gained some weight eating great pizza and pasta from her father’s new Italian restaurant. And then something beautiful evolved…
Lady Gaga decided to change the body image conversation.
She posted a simple photo – no hair & make-up team, no crazy outfits, no retouching – in her underwear, with a simple phrase admitting to an eating disorder. And then she posted more photos. The star known for her elaborate ensembles and extreme hair and make-up creations bared all to the world and encouraged others to join her Body Image Revolution 2013.
The public support has been beautiful to watch unfold. Men, women, boys and girls of all ages have embraced their “flaws” and shown them to the world as perfection – not imperfection – by posting countless photos and comments online. What started out as “body snarking” has evolved into body love and has been shared throughout all forms of media. Most importantly, it has helped redefine the body image conversation for the next generation. Visit Lady Gaga’s website and A Body Revolution 2013 on Twitter to join the positive conversation.
We are proud that several of our models wanted to join the conversation too. Please find their thoughtful photos and words below:
We’ve heard it all before… “Do these jeans make my butt look big?” Like many women, I have always been concerned about how certain clothes may make my “butt look big”. After receiving this photo from a recent photo shoot I have come to love yet another part of my body. Love your curves no matter where they are! – Melissa
Growing up, I always wished I could get a tan like my friends but now I cherish my pale skin. It suits me! – Meredith
My strong hips are me; I choose to embrace them and choose what to see.
#embraceyourcurves #realhipsdontlie – Kristy
You are invited to Caryn Franklin’s first lecture in Canada at the School of Fashion, Ryerson University on October 20, 2012 from 10am-12pm. Caryn, who is former fashion editor and co-editor of i-D Magazine and the co-founder of All Walks Beyond the Catwalk, will make her first Canadian appearance at the first annual Diversity Now! Lecture. Organized and moderated by Ben, this lecture will educate on issues of diversity within the fashion industry and how we can change them.
All Walks Beyond the Catwalk was founded alongside communications specialist Debra Bourne and supermodel, Erin O’Connor. All Walks is an award-winning campaign that promotes diversity in the size, shape, ethnicity and age range of models on the catwalk and in fashion imagery. Since its launch at London Fashion Week in 2009, All Walks has worked with internationally recognized designers such as Mark Fast, Donna Karan, Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood. All Walks is currently working with fashion colleges across the UK to educate on issues of diversity in fashion.
Diversity NOW! is a free lecture that is open to the general public. A reception will follow the lecture.
We’re thrilled to announce that some of Ben’s findings from his doctoral research for Cambridge University are featured in the June 2012 issue of Elle Canada, in stores this week Having just successfully defended his PHD in Marketing in March 2012, Ben shares his findings gathered through researching the fashion purchasing behaviour of thousands of women – findings that go against the “norms” of fashion. In the article Ben reveals the business case for diversity in fashion and questions if using different types of models can benefit brands.
This short video clip explains some of the findings that Ben has gathered through his research:
Please visit Elle Canada to read the full article. Help encourage diversity in fashion by leaving your comments with the magazine!
Top photo: Renata Kaveh
Bottom photos: Lily & Lilac
The ROM is the place to be in Toronto on a Friday night! On Friday May 4th, we attended Friday Night Live to hear Ben give his first lecture since successfully defending his PHD thesis in which he shared a few tidbits of his groundbreaking fashion research. The lecture “Refashioning Models: The Case for Diversity in Fashion” was packed, the crowd was pumped and there was an amazing Q&A session after!
The evening’s events entitled “ROM Fashion Runway,” followed hot on the heels of TFI’s 25th Anniversary Gala the night before celebrating twenty-five years of Canadian Fashion. As Chair of Toronto Fashion Incubator, Ben was happy to give the opening remarks followed by an incredible fashion event showing off the best talent Canada has to offer. An amazing display of fashion was showcased in the middle of the ROM’s cool lounge area for Friday night’s festivities.
For each Friday until June 22, 2012, the venue is open for those 19+ from 6:00pm-11:00 PM, with a different creative theme each week. When did you ever think you would be hanging with the dinosaurs, experiencing great lectures and presentations while sipping a cocktail, nibbling on the food of celeb chefs while dancing to the tunes the DJ is spinning? Entrance is only$9.00 to hang with the coolest Toronto crowd.
Friday Night Live at the ROM – culture is cool!