Press Release: March 22, 2010
Following the launch of Gok Wans most recent How To Look Good Naked series [http://www.prlog.org/10510259-gok-wans-latest-models-direct-change-in-attitude-about-disability.html], high street store Debenhams have finally taken steps to change the way that fashion views disability and will be including disabled model Shannon Murray in their latest campaign.
Shannon, 32, broke her neck in her teens and has been confined to a wheelchair ever since. Now her picture will appear online and in Debenhams stores promoting the Principles collection by Ben de Lisi, alongside three other models. The Ben de Lisi range comes in sizes 8-20 and also offers petite clothing with an admirably inclusive approach to fashion.
"Every woman deserves to look good and feel special which is why there are styles to suit, fit and flatter every body shape in the new Principles range., commented Ben de Lisi. I think that Shannon looks amazing."
When disability campaigners Natasha Wood and Nikki Fox, both presenters of the groundbreaking fashion TV show How To Look Good Naked, approached Debenhams with the idea to include disabled models in their fashion shoots, they were delighted with the positive response from Deputy Chief Executive Michael Sharp.
"We cater for women of all shapes and sizes, young and old, non-disabled and disabled so we wanted our windows to reflect this choice, he said. "When Nikki and Natasha approached us with the idea, we didn't have to think twice. We are proud to be the first high street retailer to deliver this. We only wished we had done it sooner.
Debenhams have already begun preparation for a second shoot and say that they are now committed to using disabled and plus size models in future.
Gok Wan hopes that Debenhams will now start a trend towards a more inclusive approach from other high steet stores.
"We in the UK have the best high street in the world, he says. It's a multi million pound industry that needs to recognise all shapes, sizes and disabilities. Filming 'How to Look Good Naked' has been a life changing experience for me, because I have learnt so much about a community I knew existed but have never been involved with.
"Debenhams is pushing the boundaries by producing the first ever disabled fashion campaign in conjunction with 'How to Look Good Naked', and I hope that one day disabilities will be recognised by every chain in the high street."
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