The 27 Most Beautifully Diverse Fashion And Beauty Campaigns Of 2016

Because we could all use a little bit of good news right about now.

It’s been a year of peaks and valleys for diversity in fashion (and pretty much everything else, too).

Inclusivity rose at Fashion Week, but an alarming number of magazines failed to use a single model of color on covers the whole year. Ashley Graham starred on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue, but some designers flat out refused to send clothing for her groundbreaking cover of British Vogue.

So now more than ever, it feels necessary to take a look back at the beautiful, inspired, forward-thinking campaigns and imagery that did show up in our social media feeds, on YouTube and across the internet this year.

See 29 of our favorites below.

1. Actress/model Hari Nef for Mansur Gavriel


A photo posted by Mansur Gavriel (@mansurgavriel) on

The model, activist and actress, who is transgender, became the brand’s first major campaign star in May. She also notched four major magazine covers in 2016.

2. Iris Apfel for Aigner

Apfel, 95, has starred in a slew of campaigns in recent years, also posing for Kate Spade New York and Alexis Bittar.

3. Ashley Graham, Nicola Griffin and Philomena Kwao for Swimsuitsforall

This is how we #SwimSexy. @swimsuitsforall @theashleygraham @nicolajgriffin

A video posted by Philomena Kwao (@philomenakwao) on

These ads, which notably included a 56-year-old in a bikini, ran in the 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Swimsuitsforall was also responsible for running the issue’s first-ever plus-size ad in 2015.

4. Candice Huffine for Violeta by Mango


Huffine has worked with Mango and its “full figure” line for quite some time, including this bikini shoot in April.

5. Brandon Maxwell’s stunning debut campaign

Brandon Maxwell

Maxwell’s first ever campaign, which debuted in July, is as impressive and diverse as his clients Michelle Obama, Oprah and Lady Gaga.

6. Candice Huffine, Cora Emmanuel, Alek Wek, Ashley Graham and Toni Garrn for Lindex


The ad, released in September, marked the brand’s merging of its plus-size offerings into the rest of its products.

7. Tracey “Africa” Norman for Clairol

Despite starring on Clairol’s “hottest-selling box” in the 1970s, Norman’s modeling career was halted in the ‘80s when she was outed as transgender. She made her triumphant return to modeling in August as the face of Nice N’ Easy’s “Color as Real as You Are” campaign.

8. Candice Huffine for RACHEL Rachel Roy Curve

RACHEL Rachel Roy

Rachel Roy’s first curve line debuted in February. “A big part of developing this line was about listening,” she said. “Listening to the marketplace, listening to what was going on in culture, and listening to the women who have been asking us to do this for years.”

9. Veronica Webb for Sophie Theallet

Sophie Theallet

In 1992, Webb became the first black model to land a major beauty campaign. Now 51, she posed for Sophie Theallet in February.

10. Barbie Ferreira for Aerie

In January, Ferreira joined a long list of models who have posed in unretouched ads for Aerie.

11. Iskra Lawrence for Aerie

Lawrence, who joined Aerie in 2015, became an Aerie Real Role Model in February and landed an exclusive swim and lingerie deal with the brand in December.

12. Secret deodorant’s groundbreaking transgender ad

This clip showing “authentic portrayals of queer experience” premiered in October.

The rad feminist ad, which debuted in September, features the likes of Hari Nef, Lauren Hutton and Jillian Harvey showing us that being a “lady” means doing whatever the hell you want.

14. Phyllis Sues and Roberta Haze for Karen Walker

Ari Seth CohenKaren Walker

Sues, 98 and Haze, 78, were featured in a campaign focused on the beauty of aging hands in August.

15. Paloma Elesser for Nike

Nike made waves in July by posting this image of Elesser, finally making its social media presence a bit more inclusive and helping normalize the idea that women of all shapes and sizes care about fitness.

16. Denise Bidot for Lane Bryant

Lane Bryant

This image of Bidot with unretouched stretch marks was released in December. “We at Lane Bryant simply believe that all women should be seen and celebrated as they are,” said company exec Brian Beitler.

17. Shea Moisture’s “What’s Normal?” campaign

The powerful ad, released in September, “highlighted the ways in which the beauty industry marginalizes women of color” ― beginning with the use of the term “for normal hair.”

18. This truly inclusive high fashion shoot in partnership with the “Straight/Curve” documentary

L to R: Robyn Lawley, Charli Howard, Nicola Griffin, Jennie Runk, Denise Bidot, Nathalia Novaes, Erica Krauter, Philomena Kwao, Sabina Karlsson, Emme, Iskra Lawrence and Sasha Exeter.
Anastasia Garcia
L to R: Robyn Lawley, Charli Howard, Nicola Griffin, Jennie Runk, Denise Bidot, Nathalia Novaes, Erica Krauter, Philomena Kwao, Sabina Karlsson, Emme, Iskra Lawrence and Sasha Exeter.

Photographer Anastasia Garcia snapped models of all different shapes and sizes for this powerful shoot as a “call to action” for the media to be more inclusive.

19. Khloe Kardashian’s Good American campaign

My denim line is here!! For women everywhere of ALL shapes and sizes! @goodamerican

A video posted by Khloé (@khloekardashian) on

Kardashian’s denim line, which runs from sizes 0-24, launched in October with imagery of diverse women.

20. James Charles for CoverGirl


The brand announced in October that James Charles, a 17-year-old Youtube makeup artist pictured above with Katy Perry, is its first-ever male Cover Girl.

21. Target’s “Dear Jeans” ad

The relatable and empowering ad, featuring women of all different shapes and sizes, was released in August.

22. Denise Bidot, Iskra Lawrence, Charli Howard and more for the All Woman Project

Heather Hazzan and Lily Cummings

Charli Howard, who won our hearts with an open letter slamming body standards at her former modeling agency, co-founded this body positive campaign shot in September.

23. Ashley Graham for H&M Studio


Graham has fronted plenty of fashion campaigns, but this one ― for an H&M line that is not specifically plus-size ― was pretty major.

24. Torrid’s epic denim campaign


This majorly inclusive ad, which ran in July, features women from sizes 10-30.

25. Naja’s “Nude for all” amazingness


Naja launched its “Nude for All” campaign in May, featuring seven different options for skin tones.

26. Modcloth’s lovely as ever swimsuit shoot


Modcloth solidified its reputation as one of the most inclusive brands out there with yet another swimsuit shoot featuring its employees as well as some of its shoppers.

27. Bobbi Brown’s “Be Who You Are” campaign

Bobbi Brown

Bobbi Brown, who announced Monday she is leaving her namesake beauty company, went out with a beautifully diverse celebration of the brand’s 25th anniversary.

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