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Empower Your Style: Leading the Diversity Revolution in Fashion!

Step into the world of Debbie-Lyn Apparel & DL Models Ltd PR & Events, where empowerment meets inclusivity and revolutionizes the fashion industry. Debbie-Lyn embodies resilience, determination, and a fierce commitment to changing beauty and representation standards. From transformative workshops to inclusive fashion shows, she empowers individuals to pursue their dreams. As CEO of Debbie-Lyn Model Management Agency, she supports marginalized individuals entering the fashion world

How do you empower individuals who lack confidence to believe in themselves and pursue their dreams?

I set up an online community where I run boundary-setting and confidence workshops, and I organise professional photoshoots, runway shows, and magazine publications for the community to take part in, their confidence has soared, and they feel seen, valued, and beautiful.

What drove you to become a catalyst for change in the fashion and beauty industry, particularly in terms of diversity and representation?

I worked as a professional plus-size model and noticed a lack of representation for curvy women within the industry which I wanted to change. In 2022 I also became disabled with a neurological condition called FND which seriously affects my ability to walk. I found it increasingly harder to find modelling opportunities. Disabled people are the largest minority group and yet they are so underrepresented within the fashion and beauty industry.

As a survivor of trauma and low self-esteem, how do you use your personal experiences to help others with similar struggles?

I use all the skills and tools I have been taught throughout my recovery that I know have worked for me, to teach others how to build their self-esteem and confidence back up, through the workshops I run and sharing my story with them to help them believe that change is possible.

Can you describe the workshops offered by your “Unapologetic Community” to develop mind, body, and soul?

The workshops we offer are boundary setting and communicating boundaries, goal setting with intention, vision boards, confidence building blocks, manifestation and positive mindset, runway walking (or wheeling) and posing, posing for photographic work, self-love club, body acceptance and how to be unapologetically YOU!

Photo courtesy of Gemma, showcasing Joolz Woolly, the model in the wheelchair.

What inspired you to create an inclusive luxury fashion brand and found the Inclusive Fashion Shows?

Whilst working as a professional plus-size model, I saw a lot of designers didn’t cater to larger sizes, and that didn’t reflect society. Models are being looked up to and the lack of representation in magazines and on runways leaves people feeling unseen and less beautiful. I founded DL Apparel an inclusive size luxury brand and the Inclusive Fashion Shows to give a platform to celebrate diversity within fashion.

How does Debbie-Lyn Model Management Agency support and develop marginalized individuals aspiring to break into the fashion industry?

We provide a fully inclusive service to guide them safely through the world of modelling, only partnering with brands and casting agents who also have inclusivity at their heart. We provide solutions to any barriers the models may have due to their mental health, disability, or differences so that they can take part in fashion work.

How does being recognized as one of the Top 100 Women Entrepreneurs by The Global Woman Club impact your mission of increasing representation in the media?

Having this recognition is huge! This mission is only as successful as the audience we reach! Spreading the message that representation matters globally is the dream. Being recognised this way builds credibility highlights what we do for more people, and allows us to reach and help more people reach their dreams.

Why do you believe lack of diversity in media representation leads to self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy, especially among young children?

When children do not see people who look like they are represented on TV, in Magazines, or in fashion and beauty, they do not feel validated, seen, or beautiful. This makes them question whether they are good enough. Seeing successful people who look like us creates a sense of self-belief that they can also be successful, it’s so important.

What are the potential consequences of the ongoing epidemic of self-doubt and lack of representation in the media, particularly for mental health?

Self-doubt caused by lack of representation in the media leads to children as young as 3 questioning whether they are too fat, and teenage girls being diagnosed with eating disorders, depression, and self-harm. We have to make changes in representation if we expect the next generation to feel worthy.

How do Debbie-Lyn Apparel & Debbie-Lyn Diverse Models contribute to the fight for increased representation in the UK and beyond?

We contribute to the fight for increased representation by being the change we want to see, leading by example, having our fashion campaigns published in glossy magazines, and showing other fashion brands how they are missing out on revenue by NOT being inclusive. We are touring the UK and beyond with our Inclusive Fashion Shows to give a platform to brands who are also inclusive and working in collaboration with them to shout about the importance of inclusion.

All photos credited to Vicky Head 

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