Celebrity-fave swimwear brand Solid & Striped’s latest ad campaign showcases a new range of edgy, beautifully shot swimsuits. These swimsuits are worn by 13 models who make up the ‘2018 Swim Team’ and who co-designed the range with the brand. But beautiful and beach-ready as the campaign on Solid & Striped’s Instagram feed may make some feel, there’s a significant number of women who don’t feel represented by it.
Much like the demographics of your high-school water-polo first team, Solid & Striped’s 2018 ‘Swim Team’ lacks diversity from every angle possible. Of the 13 models who appear in the ad, 12 are caucasian ‘size-zero’ models, with Jourdan Dunn, who is placed right in the middle of a string of lookalike models, the only model of colour.
#swimteam2018 Photographer @bjorniooss Creative Director @jimkaemmerling Stylist @carineroitfeld Hair @akkishirakawa Makeup @fulviafarolfi Film Director @trevorowsley Swim Team @lilyaldridge @haileyclauson @jourdandunn @hannahfergusonofficial @isabelifontana @tonigarrn @jesshart @hoskelsa @eniko @carolynmurphy @realbarbarapalvin @natashapoly @josephineskriver
The ‘2018 Swim Team’, which was shot by Bjorn Looss and styled by Carine Roitfield of CR Fashion Book, has raised a few eyebrows on social media, with internet users lamenting its lack of diversity because one black model is just not enough. But the backlash over this campaign has not been dished out as harshly as it has been to other tone deaf international brands before. The extent of social media users’ outrage over this goes no further than a few eye-roll emojis, while some have given the matter just a few more characters of critique, calling out the tokenism of it all:
Can we talk about the lack of diversity shown here from @SolidandStriped !!!! Jeeeezzzz
— Danielle (@VanierDanielle) February 6, 2018
A joke. pic.twitter.com/qH027IG8gR
— M. (@MEENAVOGUEE) February 7, 2018
You have about 5 models who look about the same and then one ethnic model…. out of all the models to book in this industry …. smh pic.twitter.com/ROcUrJo0dH
— ~Don Kaÿa (@asummerwine) February 7, 2018
This is perhaps due to the fact that people have grown weary of fighting for things that should be obvious at this point – things like representation of not only all ethnicities, but also all skin tones within those ethnicities (that goes for all hair types and textures too). Not to mention body types, because not only slender, tall women wear swimsuits – the beach is not a runway after all.
Solid & Striped has not yet responded to any of the criticism, as they continue to celebrate their #SwimTeam2018 on Instagram.