In Pictures & Video: Marks & Spencer redefines "neutral" lingerie with inclusive range and campaign
Inspired and motivated by the global conversation on race and inclusivity over the past 12 months, Marks & Spencer has this week unveiled a new range of inclusive "neutral" lingerie and an accompanying campaign, entitled "Nothing Neutral About It".
The range offers customers of the UK's most popular lingerie retailer the ability to pick from five new shades to complement or contrast with their skin tones and, furthermore, from one of the widest size ranges on the high street, spanning AA – H on bras & 6 – 24 on knickers.
Every aspect of the campaign has been carefully considered and it has been informed through collaboration with the M&S Culture & Heritage colleague network, as well as the result of wider colleague feedback.
"The global conversations around race and equality over the last 12 months spurred us to go faster in creating a better, more inclusive range."
The result of this feedback led the retailer to admit that its neutrals offer was "inconsistent and inadequate for all ethnicities". It also made M&S carefully consider the naming conventions for its new shades, with old, negative label for darker shades such as "Tobacco", dismissed in favour of more positive terms.
Each shade is named after a gemstone – Opaline, Rich Amber, Rich Quartz, Rose Quartz & Topaz – to signify "things that are special and precious".
Models in the campaign were also selected to reflect the diversity of the range and each of them has a backstory designed to inspire.
Stars of the campaign include:
Emma, a model, photographer and UN Women UK Ambassador
Olivia, a model and finance graduate
Simone, a dancer & wellness advocate
Zuzu, a "melancholic soul" who says she is learning to appreciate her body so she can teach others to love theirs
Poppy, who enjoys fashion, illustration and being with her LGBTQ+ family
Ariish, an activist for invisible disability and a woman of diversity
Mia, a silver hair influencer and black music culture guru
The new neutrals range brings together M&S bestsellers to create an offer for all women. The range includes:
- "Body" (smoothing) T-Shirt bras and No VPL 3 pack Knickers
- "Body" (smoothing) Flexifit™ crop tops
- Wildblooms lace bras (including F- H) and knickers
- Rosie exclusively for M&S silk & lace bras (including F-H) and knickers
- Cotton / Lycra 5 pack knickers
- Full Slips with Cool Comfort TM
- Smoothing shorts with Cool Comfort TM
The neutrals offer is also being trialled in in M&S’s First Bra range, Angel.
The entire range is available now on M&S.com. Selected products are also available in selected M&S stores.
Laura Charles, Director, M&S Lingerie commented: “We are the UK market leaders in bras and knickers and with that comes a responsibility to ensure what we sell makes all of our customers feel fantastic. We listened when our customers and colleagues told us we hadn’t got it right when it came to colour; both in the choices available and the way we talked about the neutral shades.
"The global conversations around race and equality over the last 12 months spurred us to go faster in creating a better, more inclusive range. From the product offer to the names, to the marketing, we’ve worked hand in hand with our colleague Culture & Heritage network to deliver a campaign we’re proud of and an underwear range that provides more colours, more sizes and more choice so that all of our customers have the freedom to complement or contrast with their individual skin tone in a way that suits their own personal style."