Rankin, Steven Tai and Stephen Bell challenge perceptions of beauty with Portrait Positive initiative


Fashion designer Steven Tai and event organiser Stephen Bell have partnered to challenge traditional perceptions of beauty in a new book and campaign, shot by renowned photographer Rankin, which is unveiled today.

Rankin shot 16 women with visible facial and bodily differences for the Portrait Positive campaign, wearing Steven Tai designs, and three of the women will appear in Tai’s London Fashion Week presentation today. The initiative supports the Changing Faces charity.

The Portrait Positive Book: supporting Changing Faces

The book will launch on 25 September and all proceeds will go to the charity, which supports the 1.3m children, young people and adults in the UK who have a medical condition, mark or scar that makes them look different. Approximately one in 111 people in the UK have a significant visible facial difference, despite being largely absent from representations in fashion and the media.

It will be available to buy from the Portrait Positive website and select bookstores, art spaces and boutiques around the country and accompanying each portrait is the story of the woman behind it. By publishing the high-energy and upbeat images the trio hope to break the status quo of beauty as represented by fashion and beauty industries, as well as support the charity.