Make us your home page
Instagram

Nordstrom leads in using models with disabilities in ads

A model in a wheelchair advertises boots in a Nordstrom catalog. The company has hired professional models with disabilities since 1997.

Associated Press

A model in a wheelchair advertises boots in a Nordstrom catalog. The company has hired professional models with disabilities since 1997.

NEW YORK — It's not easy to find models with disabilities in advertisements for the fashion and beauty industry — unless you look in the Nordstrom catalog.

The company has been using models with disabilities since 1997 and continues the tradition in its annual July catalog, which kicks off the upscale retailer's largest event of the year with preview discounts of new fashions for fall.

This summer's Nordstrom catalog includes, among others, a woman in a wheelchair modeling boots and a man with a prosthetic leg modeling Nike running shoes.

Hiring professional models with disabilities has become so much a part of the Seattle-based company's identity that its regular customers might not even realize how unusual it is.

"Identifying companies that utilize models or actresses with disabilities has been like finding a needle in a haystack," said Meg O'Connell, a partner at consulting firm Global Disability Inclusion.

Nordstrom, she added, "is a leader in this space and has been a long-standing supporter of disability inclusion, not only in their advertising, but also in employment and accessibility in their stores."

The clothing that Nordstrom models wear is not adapted in any way. The model wearing Nikes has one on his foot and the other on his prosthetic device. The model in the wheelchair has short spiky hair as part of the punk look of her outfit, which includes a dark leather jacket and the featured sale item, short boots with a buckled strap.

Nordstrom spokeswoman Tara Darrow said that using the models is "really about reflecting the customers and communities we serve. We serve diverse customers, and it's an opportunity for them to see themselves when they're looking through the book or online. . . . We don't promote it or go out and talk about it. We just think they look great."

O'Connell said the advertising and retail industries might be at a "tipping point" in terms of including models with disabilities. She noted that H&M and Diesel have also recently featured models with disabilities. Plus, Swiffer recently featured an amputee actor and a Duracell ad used a deaf football player.

O'Connell said people with disabilities represent a significant marketing opportunity, with $225 billion in discretionary spending, and "companies that understand this will have an advantage."

Nordstrom leads in using models with disabilities in ads 07/18/14 [Last modified: Friday, July 18, 2014 9:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Water Street Tampa unveils video showing downtown's transformation

    Business

    TAMPA — Water Street Tampa, the sweeping, 50-plus acre redevelopment project in Tampa's urban core, has unveiled new images and video of what the downtown district will look like upon completion.

    Strategic Property Partners released a conceptual image of what the Tampa skyline will look like once its redevelopment of 50-plus acres of downtown will look like. [Photo courtesy of  of SPP]
  2. Florida ranks high for workplace equality between men and women

    Working Life

    When it comes to the workplace, Florida ranks fifth in terms of gender equality, a WalletHub study released Tuesday found.

    Florida ranks high in terms of equality between men and women in the workplace. Pictured is Sandra Murman, county commissioner in 2015, talking about the differences in pay between men and women. | [Times file photo]
  3. Treasury secretary's wife boasts of travel on government plane, touts high fashion

    National

    U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's wife, Louise Linton, boasted of flying on a government plane with her husband to Kentucky on Monday and then named the numerous fashion brands she wore on the trip in an unusual social media post that only became more bizarre minutes later.

    Steven Mnuchin and his then- financee Louise Linton watch as President Donald Trump speaks during Mnuchin's swearing-in ceremony as  treasury secretary in the Oval Office of the White House on Feb. 13. [Mandel Ngan | AFP via Getty Images]
  4. Ford, Chinese partner look at possible electric car venture

    Autos

    BEIJING — Ford Motor Co. and a Chinese automaker said Tuesday they are looking into setting up a joint venture to develop and manufacture electric cars in China.

    In this April 23, 2016 photo, attendees take smartphone photos at a promotional event for Ford Motor Company ahead of the Auto China car show in Beijing. Ford Motor Co. announced an agreement Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017 with a Chinese partner to look into forming a joint venture to develop and manufacture electric cars in China. [AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein]
  5. Judge throws out $458,000 condo sale, says Clearwater attorney tricked bidders

    Real Estate

    CLEARWATER — Pinellas County Circuit Judge Jack St. Arnold on Monday threw out the $458,100 sale of a gulf-front condo because of what he called an "unscrupulous" and "conniving" scheme to trick bidders at a foreclosure auction.

    John Houde, left, whose Orlando copany was the high  bidder June 8 at the foreclosure auction of a Redington Beach condo, looks in the direction of Clearwater lawyer and real estate investor Roy C. Skelton, foreground,  during a hearing Monday before Pinellas County Circuit Judge Jack St. Arnold.  [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times ]