2015 Projects
My Body, Your Business: The Impact of Diversity on the Bottom Line
Daniel Drak, Dr. Ben Barry
Parsons The New School for Design, Strategic Design & Management; Ryerson University

This project seeks to provide empirical proof that promoting diversity in fashion can increase brand awarenes and sales while providing competitive advantage for businesses in regards to achieving sustainability through social and economic efforts.

We have proof that increasing the visibility of diverse groups in fashion advertising has a positive, social impact on fashion’s audiences. Despite such proof, we often do not see much of this diversity in fashion and we must question why that is the case. We hypothesized and uncovered that much of the rejection of diversity in fashion is due to an inherent fear of challenging fashion’s paradigms and how that might impact a business’s bottom line. In other words, businesses fear that there is no real business case for diversity. Our qualitative research demonstrates the opposite – that individuals strongly desire diversity in fashion. Ben Barry’s dissertation uncovered that women increase purchase intentions when they see themselves reflected in fashion and now we need to uncover similar, quantitative findings for men that can be used to persuade fashion businesses to amend their marketing strategies to focus on diversity.


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