British retailer Marks and Spencer recently launched a collection of ‘skin’ coloured lingerie that took their Instagram on a rollercoaster ride. Here is what we love and don’t love about the campaign.
The collection featured underwear sets in many shades of skin tone. This was very well received by the audience of the brand on social media platforms. The initiative of adding new colours to their range was noted as an effort to make the ‘nude’ pieces more inclusive.
The lingerie sets are named after gemstones such as Amber, Topaz and Rose Quartz. The retailer stated that this was a move towards redefining colours for all in their lingerie. In the process of becoming a more inclusive brand, they have critically applied customer feedback by steering away from words such as tobacco as well.
The models featured in the campaign represented a diverse group of women. It was not just about including models of colour. But the campaign featured real women representing different ethnicities, body types and sizes. Stretch marks and post birth belly were not missed.
The Instagram posts captioned ‘nothing neutral about it’ were praised by viewers who were happy to finally be able to relate to the faces on screen. However, the same posts also quickly received its fair share of criticism.
One of the viewers called out the brand on only now realising the presence of Black and Brown customers and directly jumping into making profits off of it. The retailer also said that this campaign was inspired by the death of George Floyd which directly pulled the brand into an interrogation on how that was related to a lingerie collection.
Last year, the fashion industry saw many brands grabbing onto the opportunity of what started the Black Lives Matter movement. Their actions were deemed as petty and inconsiderate as most profits made from BLM inspired campaigns did not contribute to the movement in any way.
The retail brand has a long way to go in terms of learning and applying inclusive and representative practices but this was definitely a beginning to note as a step forward.