Consumers are fed up with ad campaigns that fail on inclusivity and sensitivity. Last month, H&M raised the ire of shoppers for a racially insensitive ad and fashion brand Revolve came under fire after posting Instagram photos from an influencer trip in Thailand that only depicted thin, white women. Now, swimwear brand Solid + Striped is facing a similar backlash for posting an ad featuring 12 caucasian models and only one woman of color.
The label riled patrons with an Instagram image that showcased an all-white cast with the exception of English model Jourdan Dunn, who’s of African and Syrian descent.
The company’s followers expressed their outrage, sparking a necessary debate about equal representation and compelling the brand to apologize. One customer wrote: “Apparently the CEO of this company is color blind and believes that beauty comes in one shape and color. Completely unrealistic and unrepresentative of the world we live in. This is outrageously disgraceful. Shame on you, Solid and Striped.” Another also responded to what she perceived as the company’s tone-deafness: “Wow. Diversity? None. Where have you guys been? There is a global conversation going on about inclusiveness and celebrating ALL WOMEN. There is no variety here. We models of color and different shapes+ sizes are tired of competing with each other for ONE SPOT. Why can’t we all shine?”
Amid the backlash, the CEO of Solid + Striped came forward with a statement, telling Elite Daily: “When I embarked on this project we reached out to a broad and diverse pool of talent. The women with whom we collaborated had a genuine interest in taking time out of their schedules to be a part of the team. The intention was never to exclude anyone. I’m genuinely sorry Swim Team failed to represent a more diverse group of women. I acknowledge the problem and we will do better.”
Jourdan Dunn has not spoken out on the controversy, but did share a solo image from the campaign and wrote, “BlackGirl Magic.”