Models of Diversity demands more diversity and wants to see more disability in advertising.

by debbievanderputten

Models of Diversity / Disability Campaign


With London 2012 Olympics such a success eyes turn to the Paralympic Games and there’s no better time for Models of Diversity to highlight the near absence of models with a disability from the fashion and beauty industry.
Young disabled people need more disabled rolemodels not only during the olympic season but also after / inbetween.

Established in 2009 Models of Diversity is the campaign promoting greater diversity in the media and on the catwalk. We’re for more models of colour, plus size, older models, petite and less able models. We campaign on the street and hold fashion shows to prove there’s beauty in a much wider range of models than the industry seems to recognise.

Founder Angel Sinclair says: “The Paralympics challenges previous notions of who can be an athlete. It is the ideal setting to get people thinking about who can be a model. How often do we see a model in a magazine, in an advert or on the catwalk with a disability? It’s unfair on those models and doesn’t represent society; our street surveys showed 68% of people believed there should be more models with a disability in the fashion and beauty industry.

This might be the only time people see a disabled model this year and I’m proud to be able to demonstrate disability is no barrier to beauty.”

To promote diversity in advertising we are launching our first billboard in London this featuring a model with a disability we expect it to both generate awareness in this important issue but also to show disability is no barrier to beauty.

Disabled models are discriminated against in the modelling industry, but more importantly, disabled people (approx. 15% of the population) as a whole are rarely addressed in mainstream advertising. Some retailers have improved access to their web sites, others provide easier access in stores, but rarely do they address and identify with a sector of purchasers that are largely overlooked.

The Billboard stands on the border between the City of London and the West End and is more than 2.5 miles from the nearest alternative digital roadside display. Its has almost 50,000 people passing it a day so it will be seen by many londoners and tourist visting the paralympic games,-holborn.html

The image and message will be thought provoking, memorable but NOT shocking. Our three models, Debbie van der Putten, Varina Glanville and Iga Wyrwa.
Whilst Debbie represents models of disability, both Varina and Iga are there to create a balance and ability on the board and NOT as supporting role. All three fit the Models of Diversity profile and therefore each is intrinsic to the campaign.

The disabled model featured in this campaign is ex BBC Britain’s Missing Top Model contestant and disabled model Debbie van der Putten. Debbie has for a long time been actively talking and campaigning for disabled models both here in the UK and her native country, The Netherlands. Since she’s been the spokesperson for Models of Diversity Debbie’s had some amazing opportunities to speak about the campaign, who we are and what we do. Debbie hopes to inspire young girls through this campaign to not give up on their dreams of becoming a model. As being turned down by agencies time and time again because of her disability she knows its not easy, but she believes that there is a change going on and only by hard work and believing dreams will come true.

If you would like to know more about this exciting event or about Models of Diversity in general we would welcome the opportunity of an interview.

Friendly Greetings, The Models of Diversity team!


Photographer : James Lyon
Art Director: Angel Sinclair
MUA: Karen Solandy
Hair: Fiona Chaffey

Debbie van der Putten (Disabled Model)
Iga Wyrwal (blonde girl)
Varina Glanville (models of colour)

For Interview request, more info on the campaign or on Models of Diversity please contact:

Angel: 07932 079 974