Adidas is a brand typically known for creating classic streetwear and footwear. The latest F/W 2017 Collection still adheres to this classic look, but the models for campaign elevate the brand to a more relatable level. Among the models are artist and photographer Arvida Bystrom, musician and activist Kiran Ghandi, skateboarder Rachelle Vindburg, climate change activist Xiuhtezcatl, musician Khalif Diouf and model and body positive activist, Barbie Ferreira.
Whilst all of the models mentioned above carry a certain importance in wanting to instigate change, Barbie Ferreira is a woman that stands out. Ferreria’s background in ‘plus size’ modelling is impressive, despite her young age of 20. With models such as Ashley Graham leading the way in body activism and ‘plus size’ modelling gaining more recognition and respect, Ferreria has the ability to reach out to younger girls and inspire them. Acclimatise them to another image of a real woman at an age where body image is such a prominent aspect of their lives. Ferreria embodies a fervour to inspire and improve the current state of fashion modelling, but also more widely in the world. In an interview with Teen Vogue, Ferreria spoke to this – “My generation is going through a crisis right now. Our government is chaos, the social climate is grim, and the planet is hurting. But we’re the ones who have to fix it. I have no doubt in my mind that the new generation has a sense of unity and sensitivity that previous generations lacked. We are strong and we are visionaries beyond just money”.
There is no denying that Ferreria is conscious of being a role model to younger girls and boys, and in an interview with Time magazine, states “Curvy models aren’t usually thought of as models. But everyone being called a “curvy model” or a “plus-size” model is breaking the boundary. We’re trying to get rid of this labels and boxes and just be models of all shapes and sizes. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the word curvy or plus-size because there are women who identify as that, and I’m not offended by it whatsoever because I don’t feel like being bigger is anything wrong. Curvy and plus-size models will just be models once it becomes more normalized and we get more representation and people are used it and not shocked by it”. By Adidas choosing Ferreria as one of the faces of the brand, this not only breaks the mould, so to speak, of how streetwear brands should look, but also how they should feel. Streetwear apparel and footwear should feel familiar, comfortable and relatable.
The face of fashion is slowly changing, and more realistic images of women are being showcased on a platform equal to the exposure which luxury brands receive. Barbie Ferreria is more than well suited to showcase the brand’s classic look. What is considered to be classic, is slowly being re-written and interpreted for the better.