British Fashion Store ASOS Is Now Featuring Swimsuit Models with Stretch Marks

Jul 03, 2017

Corners of the Internet are cheering the hugely popular British fashion store Asos for featuring photos of unedited swimsuit and underwear models with visible stretch marks.

Asos—an online retailer launched in 2000 that's known for its trendy, inexpensive clothing and accessories—did not immediately respond to Fortune when asked how long the photos have been on its site, but consumers Tweeted out praise for un-retouched images of the models last week. Some stated that the more realistic portrayals of the female form could help promote body positivity.

One user thanked Asos for not photoshopping a model's stretch marks. "[T]his will help girls embrace theirs," she tweeted. "I am!!"

Courtesy of Asos 

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The brand already has a reputation for body inclusivity, with a vast array of plus-size, tall, and maternity clothes for women. In January, it also launched plus-size and tall sections for men. In April, Asos raised its sales growth guidance for the full year for a second time in three months, to 30-35%.

But Asos is not without its critics. In May, the company faced a body-shaming backlash for labeling a U.K. size 10 (or U.S. size 6) as "large." (Asos said the classification was due to a "technical glitch.") In addition, labor conditions in its warehouses also came under scrutiny last year, after a BuzzFeed investigation said workers in an England facility were "treated like machines."

But in embracing un-retouched models, Asos (asomy) joins a growing stable of fashion brands that are abstaining from airbrushing. Target (tgt) launched un-retouched swimsuit ads in March, and American Eagle launched a Photoshop-free ad campaign for its Aerie lingerie line in 2014. With a subsequent sales growth of 20%, business at Aerie has been booming since, buoying American Eagle (aeo), as sales have slipped at the rest of the retailer's brands.

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