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ModCloth study: Women misrepresented in fashion industry


San Francisco -- Over two-thirds (68%) of women are more likely to buy from a company that uses models of varying sizes, according to a new study by online fashion retailer ModCloth. And only 13% of women agree that "real women" are accurately portrayed in the fashion industry.

The ModCloth "Truth in Fashion" report studies the effects of fashion advertising on the emotions and shopping behaviors of women. It finds that overwhelmingly, women feel alienated by the fashion industry and cannot relate to the advertising they see from brands. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of women said they "never" or "rarely" see women who look like them reflected in fashion advertising.

The results were even more dramatic among plus-size women – where over three-in-four (78%) women reported "never" or "rarely" seeing themselves reflected in advertisements. Only 25% believe "there are many good role models for women" in the fashion industry or that it "celebrates beauty in many forms."

The insights also show that not only do women want to see more "real women" in fashion advertising, but they would actually purchase more from brands that showcase diversity. Two-thirds of women said they are more likely to buy from a brand that uses real women as models, and almost half (43%) stated that they actively avoid shopping with companies who only support an ultra-thin standard of beauty, shattering the notion that women only purchase from "aspirational" advertisements.

In response to the findings, the online retailer announced the launch of #fashiontruth — ModCloth's "Casting Call For All." The casting call — open to everyone — is designed to demonstrate the company's commitment to featuring a variety of people as their true selves.

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