Debenhams Breaks new Ground With National Disabled Model Campaign

By Debenhams, PRNE
Monday, September 13, 2010

LONDON, September 14, 2010 - Debenhams has become the first retailer on the British high street to
launch a national window campaign featuring a disabled model in all of its
160 stores in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

The ground breaking imagery features disabled model Shannon Murray, along
with additional photography, mannequins and products in a display to launch
the Debenhams autumn winter womenswear.

The innovative display follows an approach by Nikki Fox and Natasha Wood,
both disability campaigners and presenters of the hit TV show, How to Look
Good Naked, which lead to a trial using Shannon in three stores earlier this
year. The pilot resulted in the some of the most responsive and positive
feedback the retailer has ever received prompting Debenhams to take new shots
and roll out across all its stores.

The move comes as a natural next step for Debenhams following campaigns
featuring plus size and petite models, un-airbrushed swim models and size 16
mannequins - all since the start of 2010.

Debenhams hopes the latest move will encourage other retailers to follow
suit and be more versatile.

Celebrity stylist, presenter of 'How to Look Good Naked' and inclusivity
campaigner, Gok Wan, commented: "After months and months of hard work, this
is some of the best imagery I have seen on the British high street…ever.

"It is so inclusive and fabulous. This, for me, is bigger than anything
else I have ever personally worked on and I have never been so proud in my
entire life."

Michael Sharp, Debenhams' Deputy Chief Executive said: "We cater for men
and women of all shapes and sizes, young and old, non-disabled and disabled.
So following on from our initial work with Shannon and the How to Look Good
Naked team, we wanted to make a commitment to continuing with this inclusive

Shannon Murray, the disabled model who features in the new Debenhams
window campaign added: "I am delighted to be working with Debenhams again and
I applaud their dedication to represent real women on the high street.

"I'm hoping that eventually other brands will follow Debenhams' lead and
recognise the diversity of their customers."

Nikki Fox praised the store for using Shannon in its campaign: "It was a
very proud moment for me when Debenhams agreed to cast our beautiful disabled
model Shannon for such a huge campaign, but what is even more exciting is how
Debenhams have continued their commitment to using Shannon.

"Debenhams is the first on the high street to regularly use a disabled
model and it's great that they have done so because they passionately believe
in representing everyone. I am very proud of what we have all achieved."

Mark Stevens, Head of Creative at Debenhams, and who heard Nikki and
Natasha's original pitch added: "We are committed to using a variety of
models in our photography, and have had a fantastic reaction to our work with
Shannon so far.

"This second photo shoot and larger scale campaign was a natural next
step as we aim to be as representative and inclusive of our customers as
possible. I've no doubt we will carry on using disabled models in a variety
of shoots in the future."

The images can be seen in Debenhams' womenswear autumn winter launch
windows in all stores across the UK and Ireland.

Debenhams is also trialling a revolutionary new wheelchair display
product called a Mannequal in its Oxford Street window. Debenhams will be
asking customers for feedback on this over the coming weeks.

About Debenhams

Debenhams is a leading department stores group, and has a strong presence
in key product categories including dresses (, womens shoes (, handbags (, bridal lingerie
(, mens shoes ( and clothing, home ware and children's
wear with a number of Debenhams deals also on offer.

    For further information please contact:
    Michelle Dowdall
    PR Manager - Womenswear & Childrenswear
    33 Wigmore Street
    W1U 1QX

For further information please contact: Michelle Dowdall, PR Manager - Womenswear & Childrenswear, Debenhams, 33 Wigmore Street, London, W1U 1QX, +44(0)207-529-0236

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