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British Vogue's Alexandra Shulman Stirs Up Size Zero Debate

British Vogue's Alexandra Shulman Stirs Up Size Zero Debate

>> Over the weekend, a "strongly worded letter" from Vogue UK's Alexandra Shulman "sent to scores of designers in Europe and America" — including Prada, Versace, Yves Saint Laurent, and Chanel — was leaked to the Times UK in what some are calling a publicity stunt.

In the letter, Shulman exhumed the size zero fight, accusing designers of an "increasingly disturbing" practice of sending fashion magazines "minuscule" clothes for photo shoots. "I am finding that the feedback from my readers and the general feeling in the UK is that people don't really want to see such thin girls."

She noted that the samples sent were becoming "substantially smaller": "Nowadays, I often ask the photographers to retouch to make the models appear larger." Furthermore, she wrote: "We have now reached a point where many of the sample sizes don't comfortably fit even the established star models. Instead, we are having to use girls with jutting bones and no breasts or hips, to fit them."

So who's with her? »

When queried about the letter, Shulman added: "Look at the young scene girls. The Geldof girls, Alexa Chung. They are not the kind of thin that the girls we need to use are. Daisy Lowe is a good example. She wouldn't fit into these samples."

Her stance has received support from Vogue Australia's editor, Kirstie Clements, as well as Marios Schwab. Shulman clarified to WWD that she isn't trying to overhaul the industry, just push for more diverse body types: “Fashion is always going to be about models and it’s always going to be aspirational and it’s never going to completely reflect reality. But I think we can look at slightly broadening the horizons — fashion is meant to lead, not be behind.”

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