Third year Law student Oluwaseun Matiluko discusses ASOS' latest move to photograph a selection of different shaped models wearing the same garment to promote all-inclusive fashion shopping.
High-street shopping can often cause more anxiety than enjoyment. The fear of shopping stores not having any clothes in your size is often only exacerbated in store when the top you have picked up looks nothing like it did on the mannequin. Instead of illuminating your beauty, your flaws are exposed.
Shopping online can only compound fitting issues. Whilst online shopping prohibits cramped and stuffy Topshop changing rooms, the ability to add items to your cart and checkout with under 5 clicks is a gamble. Yet in order to counter the problematic nature of looking at clothes online, ASOS have provided a new way for people over size 10 to feel confident in their purchase from any section of the site. The fashion brand have pioneered the effort to picture the same clothes on different body shapes in hope of bringing more inclusivity.
In a statement to Cosmopolitan UK, ASOS commented that they are 'always testing new technology' that can make their customer experience even better. In this case, they have been experimenting with augmented reality to show products on different size models, so customers can get a better sense of how something might fit their body shape.
This conception, at current, is only a feature available to a select number of items on site. As ASOS eventually photograph every item, this will change the
shopping experience dramatically for people whose shape is not the “norm” presented by models on fashion websites. Although brands like Missguided have taken steps towards embracing body positivity by not airbrushing their photos, ASOS’ latest initiative will take this up a notch- showing that you do not have to be a particular size or shape in order to suit their pieces. You won’t have to trawl though the plus size section, tall, or petite, to find what you want.
However, it seems that those shopping from the male section will have to wait for this new medium. ASOS recently commented on Twitter that they are not “able to say if this (feature) will be available for menswear just yet”, which subtly highlights differences in how male body issues are treated or thought of in the realm of shopping.
In response to many who recently commented that they had 'never seen a male plus size model', a group of male models of different heights, ethniticies and sizes recreated a Calvin Klein advert to subvert male beauty standards. Moreover, those who identify as non-binary have often spoken out about how they are not included in discussions about fashion and body inclusivity.
Whilst ASOS' decision is fairly small in the expansive online shopping world, one should be excited about the prospect of fashion brands experimenting with different mediums for greater inclusion and accessibility.
*Featured Image: unsplash / Siora Photography