Two and a half years ago, Brock University research showed that customers prefer if fashion brands used average-sized models to sell their clothing.
Finally, this week, two French fashion companies whose brands include Gucci, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and others announced they would stop hiring excessively thin models.
Kai-Yu Wang, a professor of marketing in Brock University’s Goodman School of Business, applauded the decision.
“As a researcher, I’m glad to see these companies are working toward this. Our study showed that with these famous brands, using Size 0 or average-sized models doesn’t make any difference in how consumers evaluate their products,” he said. “I think they made the right decision.”
Wang’s research, published in the European Journal of Marketing in April, 2015, showed that female shoppers wanted to see fashion models who looked more like them rather than the super-skinny models brands were typically using. It also revealed that new fashion brands would have more success with their advertising campaigns if they hired average-sized models.
The professor is now delving deeper into the topic — researching who is the driving force behind the use of super-skinny models: The fashion brand designers, the fashion show directors or the models themselves.