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Founded in 2017, Zebedee Management works with people with disabilities and visible differences, giving them a platform to be seen in the same spotlight on the fashion stage. Proving itself as a trailblazer in what has been dubbed as the Inclusion Revolution in recent years, the agency has given models of all sizes, shapes, skin colour, ages and disabilities opportunities with some of the biggest brands in the industry.
At the beginning of this year, Green Queen highlighted diversity and inclusion as one of the major trends that will take over fashion, beauty, skincare and makeup. Consumers – especially in the wake of the Black Lives Matter and social inclusion movement this year – are no longer standing by companies that fail to embrace inclusion.
British modelling agency Zebedee Management is now leading this revolution of disrupting the way these industries have perpetuated the narrowly perceived concept of beauty that privileged thin, white, cisgender and able-bodied people for far too long, demonstrating what the future of visual marketing will look like.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Television, co-director of the agency Zoe Proctor explained that at the core of their work is to “increase the positive representation of these models in fashion, advertising and wider media.” The firm has given their models opportunities to participate in campaigns with some of the biggest trend-setting labels in the industry, including Gucci, Tommy Hilfiger and Hollister.
“For such a long time, our models have faced discrimination and been excluded from the industry. Being a part of a fashion or beauty campaign means the world to them. It increases their self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. Not only does it impact them, but also their friends and family and wider society.”
Among some of the models that Zebedee has propelled into stardom is Ellie Goldstein, an 18-year-old young woman who has Down’s syndrome, who was recently featured on Gucci Beauty’s “Unconventional Beauty” campaign.
Before my amputation of my leg, I was really shy. Modeling has helped my confidence grow and I feel amazing shooting. I love that I’m able to be a part of the change in the industryBernadette Hagans
Bernadette Hagans, a cancer survivor and amputee, has snagged gigs with Primark and featured with Kurt Geiger. Speaking about her modelling experience during a previous shoot with creative consultancy Huckbody, Hagans says that modelling makes her feel “empowered”.
“Before my amputation of my leg, I was really shy. Modeling has helped my confidence grow and I feel amazing shooting. I love that I’m able to be a part of the change in the industry,” said the 24-year-old.
I’ve always wanted to be a part of creating better representation in the world, and having the opportunity to be a model now, has made that become a reality.Reneé Bryant-Mulcare
Zebedee has also supported Reneé Bryant-Mulcare, who has been paralysed since the age of 6. Since modelling with the agency, the 21-year-old feels like she is “living a dream that I didn’t think could ever be made true.”
“I felt so different from everyone else and I didn’t see many people that looked like me, certainly not in the media or fashion industry anyway…I’ve always wanted to be a part of creating better representation in the world, and having the opportunity to be a model now, has made that become a reality.”
Lead image courtesy of Zebedee Management.