Body London | Demonstrating True Importance of Body Positivity, Inclusivity, and Rights of Models in the Fashion Industry

Written by

Jorge Lucena

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The fashion industry has experienced drastic changes over the years. Many trends have come and gone, and new styles have emerged to meet the changing demands of consumers. Technology has been a major driver in advancing the industry, allowing new styles and designs to appear, which all feed an increase in demand and move towards disposable fast fashion, to the detriment of the world in which we live.

Meanwhile, sustainable fashion has become increasingly important, as consumers demand environmentally friendly products made from natural materials. Many say the fashion industry has been slow to catch up.

 There has also been a greater emphasis on inclusivity, with more designers and retailers offering clothing in a wider range of sizes and styles than ever before. However, many traditional Model agencies still have maximum size requirements and minimum height requirements. These old agencies still seek the super skinny models of past decades that do not reflect the people who buy clothes.

Fashion brands are making great strides in promoting body inclusivity and more realistic sizing of the clothes they sell, the rights of models in the industry. Models of various sizes, ethnicities, and genders are now being used to promote fashion products, leading to a more representative and diverse image. In order to ensure that models are treated with respect, Model associations, like the Model Alliance in New York, are lobbying for better contracts and working conditions. Through these initiatives, fashion brands can be pushed to be more inclusive and diverse. We have seen the growth in Model Agencies that value and respect the rights of all models. One of these is an agency we met with called Body London. 

Founded in 2009 by model Gemma Howorth, Body London is a UK modeling agency for high-end fashion, commercial, and editorial models. Gemma Howorth, aged 38, was a model who has become renowned for her work with some of the biggest names in the fashion world, including Kate Moss, Lily Cole, and Kylie Minogue. After studying Marketing and PR at the London College of Fashion, she went on to set up her own modeling agency, Body London, in 2008.  She is now widely respected within the fashion industry for her new style of agency management and the interesting way they work with both client and model.

Through Gemma’s fashion expertise and values, the agency has adopted a proactive approach in the modeling industry, welcoming models from diversified backgrounds, including members of the LGBTQ+ community, campaigners for inclusion and mental health. So the model is more than someone who just wears the clients clothes, but expresses the same belief and ethos. Body London will hold discussions about social issues such as body positivity and inclusivity in order to create an impact in the modeling industry and spread awareness about the rights of models across the globe, which align with the client brand. So, both client and model have a shared mission; to change the fashion industry with fair treatment, equal opportunities, and sustainable production practices. Being a member of the Model Alliance, Body London company supports the best third-party ideas and movements towards more sustainable employment practices in the fashion industry.

One of these new ideas is that Body London assigns each client a personal booker, who works closely to identify the individual needs and style of the client brand. Not only the image the client wishes to promote, but combine it with the models own ethos and beliefs, aligned with the client brand, so the model become a brand ambassador in both look and mind. 

Next, in order to help the model develop their personal brand and style, each model is assigned a personal manager who is trained in social media development, image and style as well as being mental health support. This ensures models are heard and supported throughout their time with the agency.

On a strategic scale, the agency works toward the Fashion Industry Carbon Neutral Fashion goal. Body London plants a tree for every job their models do, and over 6,000 trees were planted last year alone. They also fund the local community in East Africa to manage and nurture these tree plantations, to provide an on-going sustainable income for the at-risk community.

Body London is an example of the change in the fashion world, a revolutionary model agency committed to promoting body positivity and diversity in the industry. With their focus on education, Body London provides models with resources and training to help them succeed both on and off the runway. This helps create sustainable careers for their models. Additionally, the agency is dedicated to creating a safe, inclusive environment for all of its models. Body London is also an example of change in practice. Their ideas are leading the way in the modeling industry, and they are determined to continue and make a positive impact. Maybe this is not enough, but this is one example of how many in the fashion world recognize change is overdue and are now working to create this change, for the future.

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Body London