International Preparation for Fashion (IPF) student Annie Breen‘s recent illustration of Ashley Graham as a Victoria’s Secret model caught the attention of the world’s press and sparked a debate about body image and diversity in fashion.

New Yorker Annie, inspired by the annual Victoria’s Secret catwalk show, sketched Ashley Graham as an ‘angel’ under the heading Victoria’s Secret Plus and posted it on Instagram, tagging in the model. To Annie’s surprise, Ashley Graham commented on her post and then re-grammed it for her 2.8 million followers to see. The post has had over 140,000 likes so far.

LCF IPF student Annie Breen’s illustration of plus size model Ashley Graham as a Victoria’s Secrets model

Annie’s image was picked up by Teen Vogue, Elle Australia , Paper, Popsugar, Cosmopolitan, and the Daily Mail among others who all raised the question – should different body shapes be represented in fashion? Annie spoke to the Daily Mail:

Why not represent healthy curvy or plus-size models?…Ashley is a strong and empowering women. Who wouldn’t want her to represent a piece of their brand?…As a young women who just graduated high school this year, I experienced and understand the pressure young women and women in general [face] to feel accepted. I can’t remember when exactly I started to see her as a role model but I know watching Ashley use her success to empower women and girls made me feel confident and motivated to radiate the same attitude.’

IPF student Annie Breen

Image credit: IPF student Annie Breen

By harnessing the power of social media, Annie has not only built a platform to showcase her work, she has created an inventive way debate and challenge fashion industry norms. Not a bad achievement for her first term at LCF!

The International Preparation for Fashion (Certificate in Higher Education) course is designed for international students who want to progress on to a BA or Integrated Masters. The course allows students to explore their creative, academic and professional potential in fashion whilst experiencing life in London.