M&S art installation “Sixteen” celebrates diversity and encourages breast health awareness

M&S art installation “Sixteen” celebrates diversity and encourages breast health awareness

(IN BRIEF) M&S has unveiled an art installation called “Sixteen” on London’s South Bank. Created in partnership with female body casting artist Lydia Reeves, the installation showcases the chests of 16 M&S colleagues to normalise the uniqueness of breasts and encourage people to take care of their breast health by getting a bra fit. The installation features a diverse cast of women from the M&S business, including Bra Fit experts and support centre colleagues, with the casts of two women who underwent mastectomy surgery. This initiative follows M&S’s previous awareness-raising campaign for breast cancer signs and symptoms in over 2,000 fitting rooms.

(PRESS RELEASE) LONDON, 10-Mar-2023 — /EuropaWire/ — Marks and Spencer Group plc (LON: MKS), a major British multinational retailer, has partnered with female body casting artist, Lydia Reeves, to create a unique art installation on London’s South Bank. The installation aims to normalise the uniqueness of breasts and encourage people to show them some TLC with a bra fit.

The installation, called “Sixteen,” features the chests of 16 M&S colleagues cast by Lydia Reeves in Brighton. The eight-metre square installation champions a diverse cast of women from across the M&S business, including Bra Fit experts and support centre colleagues, aged between 22 and 65. It also includes the cast of a woman who underwent mastectomy surgery and another who had a prophylactic mastectomy and reconstructive surgery to lower the chances of getting breast cancer due to family history.

The art installation runs until Saturday 11th March and highlights the importance of breast health and self-care. It follows M&S’s initiative last month, where the retailer rolled out signage to over 2,000 fitting rooms with guidance on the signs and symptoms of breast cancer to raise awareness among its 22 million Clothing & Home customers.

M&S is committed to promoting diversity, inclusivity and body positivity, and the “Sixteen” installation is a powerful reminder that every woman’s body is unique and should be celebrated.

Lydia Reeves, Body Casting Artist, said: M&S’s Bra Fit campaign aligns so perfectly with the constant message I shout about in my artwork every day – To show yourself and your boobs some love and self-acceptance, no matter your size or shape, as there is such beauty in our differences! I’m really hoping that by showcasing these diverse boob casts it will encourage others to celebrate their unique bodies.”

Isabella Boxall, who features in the installation and is a Bra Fitter at M&S in Brighton, said: The body casting was an experience I won’t forget and to see it come to life at the installation in London was amazing! As a Bra Fitter, we fit hundreds of customers of all shapes, sizes and life stages and I think it’s so important to champion the diversity we see in store every day so to be part of M&S’ Bra Fit campaign which celebrates our differences is something I’m really proud of.”

Anna Braithwaite, Clothing & Home Marketing Director, said: “This campaign is all about celebrating the uniqueness of our boobs and encouraging the nation to show them a small but important act of self-care by getting a bra fit. So being able to partner with Lydia to create such an empowering piece of art has been really special – we hope it sparks a conversation and gets more people talking about body inclusivity and self-acceptance. And who better to be part of it than our very own colleagues who are passionate about making our customers feel more confident about themselves each and every day.”


Notes to Editor

Art installation assets can be downloaded here
Wider campaign assets can be downloaded here

About M&S’ Bra Fit campaign

M&S has launched a 360 Bra Fit campaign that celebrates diversity and inclusivity. The campaign features six models, Anna, Nicky, Enga, Emi, Christine, and Emma, who represent the diversity of breast types and showcase how M&S’ product range caters to different needs and life stages. The campaign is being rolled out across various platforms, including OOH, print, digital, media partnerships, PR, organic and paid social, as well as an all-day takeover of M&S’ Instagram accounts supported by influencer and content from M&S’ Insiders.

On the campaign creative, Braithwaite said: “It was important that we created a campaign that was inclusive, diverse and body positive – as a retailer that serves over 22 million customers every day, we have a responsibility to represent all body types and that extends beyond our marketing: it’s reflected in our product ranges too – whether shopping with us in-store or online, customers will find an extensive offer that caters for different needs and life stages.”

The retailer’s High Street BraFit™ service is used by an average of 17,000 customers every day across more than 240 stores in the UK. In response to changing shopper habits due to the pandemic, the company launched a virtual bra fitting service in 2021, allowing customers to find the right fit and style from the comfort of their home. As the UK’s market leader for lingerie with a 22.9% market share, M&S sold 21 million bras last year, reflecting their nearly 100 years of driving innovation in the category.

Campaign credits:

  • Body casting artist: Lydia Reeves
  • Concept/ Creative: House 337
  • Media: Mindshare
  • Photographer: Nadia Ryder

The M&S Bra Fit campaign runs from February 15th – March 14th, 2023. Customers can book a bra fit appointment instore or online and choose the bra fit service that best suits their need (regular fit, post-surgery, nursing, first bra).

About Lydia Reeves

Lydia is a Female Body Casting Artist working out of her studio in Brighton, UK.

Her work focuses on allowing people to celebrate their incredible bodies, and helping to eradicate any shame, embarrassment or negative thoughts that they may have encountered throughout their lives.

For the majority of Lydia’s younger years, she struggled with accepting the way that her body looked during and post puberty. These insecurities negatively shaped Lydia’s teenage years and continued into adulthood.

Having worked on herself a lot over the last few years with embracing who she was and the body that she has, she wanted to give other people the platform to celebrate themselves and their bodies too. Lydia wants her work to have a positive impact on how people see not only their bodies, but how they see themselves as a whole.

Nearly 100 years of pioneering product development and best-in-class expertise

  • 1926: M&S launches its first bra
  • By 1939: selling at least 30 styles of bra (the most popular fabric for lingerie during the 1930s and 1940s was artificial silk or Rayon as it was then known)
  • 1947: sales assistants were trained in measuring customers girdles, bras and corsets on the shop floor under the customers’ coat. In the same year, M&S also trialled a new way of selling lingerie – the Marble Arch store had specifically designed counters to give a secluded space where customers could feel at ease
  • Early 1950’s: M&S began using three cup sizes; small, medium and large
  • 1953: started selling bras aimed at teenagers and younger women
  • 1965: M&S is the first retailer to introduce a range of coordinating bras and girdles
  • 1964: promoted bras with elastic and adjustable straps and elastic back and side panels
  • 1969: M&S introduced cup sizes to its bras
  • 2022: updated the M&S BraFit calculator to be quicker and more intuitive
  • 1972: introduced first unlined bra for 73p – it became the bestselling bra in Britain that year selling over one million
  • 1984: introduced sports bras and store colleagues were trained in advising which bras were most suitable for exercise
  • 1996: M&S was the first retailer to launch a machine-washable underwired bra
  • 1997: we refreshed the fitting rooms in our lingerie department – adding new fixtures and fittings, and merchandised by different looks: glamour, modern and classic
  • 2006: post-surgery bras were introduced
  • 2006: Autograph collection lingerie was launched
  • 2012: first partnered with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley to launch lingerie range (a piece from Rosie’s collection is sold every 30 seconds)
  • 2020: suspended in store bra fit service due to COVID-19 pandemic and provided customers with a self-measuring guide
  • 2020: launch of B by Boutique – a range filled with bright and bold pieces
  • 2023: updated the M&S BraFit calculator to be quicker and more intuitive
  • 2023: M&S fitting rooms include an illustrative guide encouraging customers to regularly check their boobs for any changes and the signs and symptoms of breast cancer

SOURCE: Marks & Spencer


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