The children, who are all from the United Kingdom, are between the ages 3 and 10 and have a range of conditions including Down syndrome and cerebral palsy. They expertly pose in the latest designs from the River Island Kids Clothing range; the advertisements are a continuation of the brand’s Kids Squad campaign, which came out in October.
Marking its 30-year anniversary, the high-street fashion brand has joined forces with leading international anti-bullying charity Ditch the Label to spread the message that “labels are for clothes, not kids.”
“This spring we are celebrating 30 years of River Island with an exciting, positive campaign #LABELSAREFORCLOTHES, that celebrates individuality,” a spokesperson from River Island said about the campaign. “We launched the kids campaign with a carefully curated cast of kids, ranging from 2 to 11 years; all share their desire to have fun, which you can see through their unique personalities. The models were selected for the campaign to reflect the diversity of our customers and celebrate an ethos that rings as true in society as it does our wardrobes: that being different is more than OK.”
The models, many of whom are signed to Zebedee Management — an agency that supplies diverse models and sensitive representation — include 6-year-old Cora, who has Down syndrome. She has a pet Chihuahua called Pancho and loves pizza, sparkles, and dancing. Teddy, who has cerebral palsy, is a total charmer who loves sailing and horseback riding.
Gabriel, who also has Down syndrome, sees everything as an adventure. When he’s not making new friends, he’s playing pranks or chilling with Phoebe, his one-eyed pug.
Speaking of the collaboration, Laura Johnson and Zoe Proctor, of Zebedee Management, tell Yahoo Style U.K., “We are thrilled that River Island have included our Zebedee models in their campaign; it is encouraging to see big high-street brands representing disability diversity so genuinely in their advertising.”
The pair added: “Our hope is that our models have a fair shot of getting work alongside other ‘mainstream’ models so we see a balanced cross-section of society and not a one-off act of tokenism. Our models are talented, beautiful, and strong individuals who deserve to work with the top clients going, and it is our mission to make this happen not just once but on a long-term basis.”
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