Huge congratulations to All Walks – the fantastic team of Caryn Franklin, Debra Bourne and Erin O’Connor who are driving forward their campaign to bring diversity to fashion.
The latest triumpth in the All Walks mission is the Centre for Diversity. The new centre, headed by Mal Burkinshaw (Head of Fashion at Edinburgh College of Art) will teach students to embrace diversity. Whilst part of this is about learning to cut to sizes other than double zero and to shapes other than model-shaped – Caryn Franklin said that it would teach students a whole lot more than just learning to cut patterns.
The launch was held at Earl’s Court 2 – during Graduate Fashion Week – and many, many educators from right across the country came to hear what Caryn, Debra and Mal were doing with this new centre – and although the Centre for Diversity is based in Edinburgh – this is a nationwide mission.
I was invited and had the privilege of announcing the new Centre because the Government itself has its own campaign for Body Confidence – which forms part of our health and well-being strategy. All Walks is one of the groups on the Government Advisory panel of experts who advise us on our Body Confidence campaign – and they head the sector working with the fashion industry.
Mal Burkanshaw spoke with such conviction about the freedom that will come as students learn to create ’emotionally considerate work’ – bringing emotion into a world which has been so unforgiving to any variety of body types in our world and rejecting of those that do not fit an impossible singular image for fashion – it was just so fantastic.
I am greatly enthused by this major step forward in ending a damaging conformity – by educating those who will be the fashion industry in future decades. It is a very heartwarming to see this opening up of the challenge, the market and design to the wonders of the human form – in all its glory.
Follow All Walks mission to end conformity here!