The September issue of Vogue has an astounding 832 pages. There’s a feature on Beyoncé (without an interview), a sneak peek of Luella Bartley and Katie Hillier’s new line, Kendall Jenner wearing fall’s coolest trends, and hundreds of pages filled with must-have boots, bags, and everything else you need for fall. Yet of these 832 pages, only two aren’t filled with straight size models.
In the middle of the big book, a black and white ad featuring the silhouettes of six full-figured women appears. Wearing just lingerie and high heels, with their faces obscured, the women are (mostly) unidentifiable. The two-page spread simply includes a date—September 14, 2015—a website that has yet to be launched, plusisequal.com, the hashtag PlusIsEqual, and the tagline, “It’s time for change.”
At first glance, it looks like the women of ALDA, a collaborative of models, including Ashley Graham, Marquita Pring, Julie Henderson, Inga Eiriksdottir, and Danielle Redman, who aim to promote body diversity. So we called them, and they directed us to Lane Bryant (which is, to be honest, where we would have turned next anyway). Lane Bryant said they were unable to comment at this time, but all signs point to this being part of their fall campaign.
The hashtag #PlusIsEqual is very in line with both ALDA and Lane Bryant’s goals. Earlier this year, the brand launched a successful social media campaign with #ImNoAngel. Many of the models mentioned above, including Graham, Pring, Candice Huffine, Victoria Lee, Justine Legaultand, and Elly Mayday appeared in the Cass Bird-lensed images.
Yet regardless of who, what, where, when (three weeks, just wait!), and why the ad is in the biggest fashion issue of the year, the sentiment makes a powerful statement between stick-thin models and Cara Delevigne, who recently said the fashion industry is “horrible and it’s disgusting.”
Plus is most certainly not equal when the only pages of the world’s leading fashion magazine that include women above a size 6 (and that’s being generous) had to be paid for.