Debenhams Unveils Beauty Untouched
Released on: June 18, 2010, 2:32 pm
Debenhams has broken ranks with the rest of the high street by
using un-airbrushed photography in its windows to launch new swimwear
lines for the summer.
Debenhams believes that the over use of some digital photography techniques to
create unrealistic body shapes and flawless skin can make women feel more insecure
about their natural looks and size. The move highlights the retailer's long
standing commitment to encouraging positive body-image through minimal digital
Mark Woods, director of creative & visual, said, "As a responsible retailer we want
to help customers make the most of their beauty without bombarding them with
unattainable body images.
"Our campaign is all about making women feel good about themselves - not eroding
their self belief and esteem by using false comparisons.
"Not only does it make sense from a moral point of view, it ticks the economic
boxes as well. Millions of pounds a year are spent by organisations retouching
perfectly good images.
"As a rule we only airbrush minor things like pigmentation or stray hair and rely
on the natural beauty of models to make our product look great.
"We are proud to bring the issue of re-touching into the main stream when the likes
of Britney Spears and Madonna are using un-airbrushed but over-lit images as a shock
Caryn Franklin, fashion commentator and broadcaster, said, "Retailers do have the
power to take a stance on digital manipulation. Fashion and beauty imagery that is
honest is absolutely crucial for all women to see. I'm delighted that Debenhams has
taken the lead here and customer feedback will no doubt validate this important
Signage in the window will read: 'We've not messed with natural beauty; this image
is un-airbrushed. What do you think?' It will also show customers an example of
just how much the image could have been altered.
Jo Swinson, Lib Dem MP and co-founder Campaign for Body Confidence MP said, "It's
great news that Debenhams will be using images of real women who have not been
digitally manipulated to advertise their new swimwear range.
"More and more people are realising that airbrushing and other trickery are not
necessary in order for women to look beautiful. I am sure that what this will
demonstrate is that swimwear modelled by real women who have not been retouched can
sell just as well as products advertised with extensive airbrushing, which has
become the norm.
"Women can feel good about themselves knowing that beauty is not about achieving
This is not the first time Debenhams has shown its commitment to promoting positive
body image - in January the store ran a trial with size 16 mannequins in windows,
and then in February, Debenhams released images using disabled model Shannon Murray
to launch the retailer's new Principles by Ben de Lisi range.
The first window which celebrates natural beauty has been unveiled at the Debenhams
Oxford Street store where staff members will be asking shoppers what they think,
before the initiative is later rolled out across the country.
- ENDS -
Debenhams is a leading department stores group, and has a strong presence in key
product categories including women's fashion, with day dresses, shoes, bikinis,
jeans, men's clothing, home ware, make-up, health and beauty, accessories, perfume, lingerie and children's
Today Debenhams offers the country's best known design talent including J by Jasper
Conran, Star by Julien Macdonald, Rocha. John Rocha, Betty Jackson. Black, Floozie
by FrostFrench, Butterfly by Matthew Williamson, Pearce II Fionda, BDL by Ben De
Lisi, Reger by Janet Reger, Pip Hackett, Beach by Melissa Odabash, EB by Erikson
Beamon, Van Peterson 925 and Grey Rose by Jane Packer.
For more information, please contact:
Debenhams PR Manager - Women's Accessories and Homes
33 Wigmore Street
020 7408 3298
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