Students from the BA (Hons) Fashion course at Arts University Bournemouth received a visit from renowned fashion expert and TV presenter Caryn Franklin last week, who spoke to the students about her initiative ‘All Walks Beyond the Catwalk’, which aims to create diversity within the fashion industry. The fashion industry has received much bad press in recent years about the size of its models and this exciting project will address some of the issues raised.

Founded by Caryn Franklin alongside Debra Bourne and Erin O’Connor ‘All Walks Beyond the Catwalk’ works with influential catwalk designers and top industry creatives to bring a celebration of change to the catwalk, using the beauty of diversity to bring different models to the attention of the public. In June 2010 Caryn successfully launched the first ‘All Walks Forum’ at Graduate Fashion Week, to encourage higher education institutions to incorporate diversity modules into their fashion degrees.

Students from BA (Hons) Fashion have been encouraged to explore diversity through their collections and reflected in their own catwalk shows in the summer. They were asked to identify two people with different body shapes and design a wardrobe, film or campaign for both the individuals. As Course Leader Anne Chaisty commented “We are encouraging our students to challenge existing design processes by exploring diverse options in fashion, which will result in a unique creative outcome.”