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South Asian Representation in Fashion

Jay Miah
South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geographical and ethno-cultural terms. The region consists of the countries of Afghanistan,[note 2] BangladeshBhutanIndiaNepalPakistanSri Lanka and the Maldives. (Wikipedia)   
South Asian Fashion

South Asian Fashion is most commonly related to desi fashion such as sarees, lenghas, salwar kameez and so forth. These clothing pieces originate from south Asia and are still staple pieces for today's south Asian women. South Asian models are not commonly seen to be in modelling campaigns, commercials or fashion magazines apart from these clothing pieces.

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(Image from Google)

Lack of diversity in fashion

Over the years of growing up and seeing different fashion styles coming and going, one thing has remained the same. Outerwear from different clothing brands, whether big or small, had minimal to a non-diverse model range to feature in their campaigns. Caucasian women were the go to for any kind of representation for fashion items.

The lack of diverse models (especially south Asian), was something that really affected me and people I knew. We couldn't relate to models that didn't look like us. It was deemed bad for business to have any other ethnicity to model clothing apart from Caucasian. Some brands still follow this mantra. But that is not what we follow. We are set out to change that.

Our mission to change

Hailing from South Asian origins ourselves, we felt things needed to change to progress. In light of recent events, such as the BLM and Stop Asian Hate movement to name a few, times have changed. Brands and celebrities alike have stepped out in support of these movements. They have promoted diversity and more ethnic representation. We are seeing more ethnic models headline big name fashion labels campaigns. Though we are really proud of this achievement, there is still a lot of work to do. We feel the need to get our south Asian men and women in front of campaigns more. We have done just that in our recent big AW21 campaign. 

Solely modelling south Asian women, we have had our big aw21 campaign with our new products for this coming autumn/winter season. There were some that thought it would be bad for business, or it won't work. We chose to ignore all the negativity and go ahead with our decision to represent our ethnic background in a predominantly Caucasian industry. And the result was greater than expected! Our beautiful models Jenna (@jennajetxx) and Harpreet (@harpree1_) didn't disappoint and stunned in our products for this upcoming AW21 collection.

The reaction

The reaction was overwhelming, with customers, friends and family praising us. The questions they kept asking was: "why did we not do this earlier?" or "why don't other brands do this either?" We didn't do this earlier due to the fact that we as a business didn't reach the level we needed to in order to get our voices heard. As stated earlier, due to some ethic related causes and movements, we felt the timing was right to do this now. We can't speak for other brands, but we hope they follow through and promote for diversity, especially for south Asian models.

Tune in to our next part of this blog, coming out soon where we will be doing a Q&A session with our south asian models regarding this topic!

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