I want to share an experience with you. I recently had a chance to model for Smart Glamour's Winter Holiday collection. Smart Glamour fits sizes XXS - 6X.
Now, the modeling part's not new, you guys know I rip a runway regularly, but what's new is this was the very first shoot I did with NO editing, zero, none - nothing.
Smart Glamour's founder and designer, Mallorie Dunn, said, "I don't think acne, stretch marks, scars, or any other "imperfections" need to be removed in order for customers to see the beauty in my models or clothing."
As a body positive advocate, you'd think this wouldn't give me pause, but being honest, like writing in my journal, who's going to see this honest, having recently re-gained15 pounds of my 35 pound weight loss, I was feeling self-conscious. However, a friend (O.K, life coach) told me, when you're feeling uncomfortable, don't walk RUN toward that feeling. That's your breakthrough. So I pushed through and had one of the best experiences! Being totally 100% accepted, no gray hairs covered, no being told to suck and tuck in that belly. The shoot and the positive response has been refreshing!
Check out the fun, luxe designs from Smart Glamour's holiday photo shoot. I sprinkled snippets from my conversation with Mallorie, Smart Glamour's founder throughout the pics so not only do you get to feast your eyes on beautiful holiday looks, but you get food for your soul with inclusive, body positive motivation.
Models: Chetney Stone, Dana Martinez, Bethany Smith
How do you determine the materials for your collections, specifically the holiday collection?
It's very important to me to make ethical clothing that is still at an accessible price point - so those who are looking for an affordable option, have one.I also want to change the idea that customization is a luxury.
Models in Gallery: Kristina Denise, Bethany Smith, Chetney Stone
Having well fitted clothes shouldn't be something out of reach to the majority of people. These are all things I keep in mind when purchasing my fabrics . I have an idea of the color palette I'd like to find. I typically find my prints first and then fill in with solids. For holiday specifically - I always add in: stretch velvets - for their stretch, comfort, and luxurious feel, brocades - for their sparkle and fun prints, and cozy sweater knits - for practical warmth while keeping it fun and fashionable.
Model Jenna Rusnak
I know you stress diversity with your models, diversity of size, ethnicity etc. What brought you to this philosophy?
SmartGlamour was launched in February 2014 to solve a larger problem - the negative ways women feel and speak about themselves. I looked into why that was happening and came back with two huge reasons 1. The way we are under and incorrectly represented in the media we consume and 2. The deliberate struggle we face when shopping and the negative stigmas attached to sizes. Ensuring my images are diverse - and paint an accurate picture of women - is how I address that. People deserve to see someone they can relate to in media - and additionally - the more we showcase differing body types, ethnicity, and ability - the less they will be seen as "different" in the first place.
Models: Ebony Walker, Jenna Rusnak, Dana Martinez
What's the ultimate goal for your brand?
To empower women through clothing and help them on a road to body acceptance,
To make good quality clothing that is sold at affordable prices, and
To cut away at women on women hate that stems from insecurity and the belief that beauty and brains can not go hand in hand.
Model: Raina Bow
Have you always avoided photoshop, if so why?
Yes - absolutely since day one. SmartGlamour is about depicting reality because I don't think there is anything wrong with it in the first place. In order for women to begin to accept their bodies and themselves - they need to be able to see representations of reality in the media they consume.
Models:Liz Richards, Ebony Walker
What is your favorite SmartGlamour, customer interaction? I have a few. Last Spring I had a 3 month long pop up shop in NYC. We stocked the store with every item in a full size range, XXS-6X, on the same rack - for the same price. This sounds like a simple concept but it exists almost no where else in the world. This means that women of any and every size and shape can come in to shop together and buy the same designs as one another - and even have them custom fit. I had a shopper come in who follows us on social media and she thanked me for the brand and what we do. She told me that the imagery I create and share 'subconsciously' teaches women that they are okay as they are." It felt wonderful to have someone not only pick up on what I am trying to promote - but then validate that it is working.
Last but not least, do you have any events coming up, pop up shops, model calls?
Our next collection and casting will be in late January/ early February - for Spring 2016. And we will have another all inclusive, body positive fashion show in mid February which is always open to the public. We hope to host mini pop up shops around the country in 2016.