People worrying about the influence skinny mannequins have on teenagers and children should "get a life," the head of one of New Zealand's biggest fashion brands says as she stands by her comments that "clothes look better on skinny people".
WORLD co-founder and chief executive Denise L'Estrange-Corbet was speaking on TV One's Breakfast programme this morning, in the wake of a public outcry over the use of mannequins with visible ribs in high street fashion chain Glassons, when she made the comments.
"Let's face it, clothes look better on skinny people," she told the show.
Read earlier stories here
• Denise L'Estrange-Corbet: 'Clothes look better on skinny people'
• Glassons taken to task over skinny mannequin
She faced a barrage of criticism on social media, with people describing her views as "ignorant & hurtful"and "judgmental".
However, when approached by APNZ, Ms L'Estrange-Corbet said she stood by her comments.
"Yes, of course I do," she said, adding: "It's a fact."
The fashion industry was "not going to change," she said.
"It's always been like that, and it's always going to be like that. Last month Armani showed in Paris, there was a hue and cry because the models had their ribs sticking out - not mannequins, models - but it's going to happen again.
"As long as they [the models] are not anorexic, it's not wrong. If they're healthy, it's not wrong."
Using thin models and mannequins was "not saying we have to look like that," she said.
"And I'm someone who can say that because I'm not thin, but I think it's not [telling people you have to look like that], it's just selling you the dream, it's marketing.
"It's no more than looking in a glossy magazine and you see those women with flawless skin - guaranteed they don't have that in real life.
"You know it [airbrushing] is done, they're selling magazines, well they [Glassons] are selling clothes.
"Compared with make-up and shampoo adverts, skinny mannequins were "not misleading anybody," she said.
"It's not saying, 'by buying this dress you're going to look this thin,' it's just showing something that you can purchase."
Seeing an image of something "doesn't automatically make people want to go out and do it," she said, adding that "people have brains" to make decisions for themselves.
"If walking past a store with a mannequin with its ribs showing is going to offend you or make you think that it's encouraging people to starve themselves, then I really think you may need to find better things to do with your life."
People needed to "take a step back" and look at the bigger picture, she said.
"People really need to think about what they're arguing about, there's so many big things going on in this world that a mannequin with its ribs showing in a shop on Queen Street? Get a life, it's Queen St for God's sake."
L'Estrange-Corbet's daughter Pebbles Hooper has backed up her mother's thoughts with a public vent on Twitter.
This morning the outspoken fashion maven appeared on Breakfast with Emily Robins, the actress and singer who first posted an image of the Glassons skinny mannequin to Twitter, sparking a social media outcry.
She was prompted to take the photograph while shopping with her 17-year-old cousin, she told the show.
"...I didn't want her to feel like she had to be that size to feel good in the clothes".
She hoped the attention and support she has received would drive change in the industry, she said, adding, "I think we can deconstruct idealised body images over time."
Ms L'Estrange-Corbet's comments have been berated online for promoting "an unhealthy message".
Karen McEldowney said: "What an awful message to send to young women."
Daisy Hudson said: "I wonder if 'clothes look better on skinny people' because they're designed for size 0s...just a thought."
Glassons has previously defended its use of the mannequins, with chief executive Graeme Popplewell saying the mannequin's BMI of 18.8 put it within the healthy weight range of 18.5-24.9.