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Designer uses only curvy black women to model her clothes

LABEL LUST: Rum + Coke was created by designer Courtney Smith

A NEW American clothing brand is challenging the fashion industry’s negative views about beauty and appearance by only using plus-size women of colour to model its designs.

The label, Rum + Coke, was created by New York-based designer Courtney Smith, and despite being modelled by larger women, comes in every size from 2 to 22 (UK 6-18)

It was launched last year and uses the motto, "You, woman, are enough. Women are beautiful in whatever package they come in."

A luxe emerald green outfit from Rum + Coke

Smith told Refinery 29: "No one questions why there are only small women in other brands' shoots. I put women of colour and 'larger' women in my photo shoots... because there are so many women who seldom see women who look like them in advertisements."

On the brands website, Smith, who has a degree in women and Africana studies, says: "Woman are constantly bombarded with messages that highlight their 'inadequacies' or 'flaws' and I have made it my personal mission to replace these messages of self loathing with messages of self-love and empowerment.

"I truly believe that women should feel confident and beautiful every time we get dressed."

The message concludes: "If one of my garments makes you smile, walk taller & love yourself a little more [then] I am on the right track."

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