This designer deeply believes that all bodies are beautiful. This phrase is repeated over and over in so many customer interactions, captions, and on my online shop. This is not a “all lives matter” stance with a fashion twist. I say all bodies are beautiful knowing that each of us is born so full of unbelievable beauty and power. Beauty is not a status reserved for the few our culture has placed up on a pedestal. Beauty is something that is inherent in all of us. Our power is our beauty, and our beauty is our power. For many, this world tries to take that away from us and convince us that we are not enough. I started my fashion brand to help people reconnect with their own inner power. Right now, Black bodies are under attack (and have been for generations) so I cannot say “All bodies are beautiful” without also screaming "BLACK LIVES MATTER!”
My brand’s mission is to empower people through power accessories.
My life’s mission is to empower people in any way I can.
Right now though, my job as a white person is to reeducate myself, lean into the discomfort, take action steps as directed by black voices, and to continually learn allyship.
Here are a few things I’ve been doing to learn more about anti-racism and further the fight for justice:
• Justice in June: This is a google doc that organizes articles, videos, podcasts, and action steps into easy daily steps for the month of June. I love a to-do list, so this was a perfect way for me to get started.
• Donated to black-focused organizations and bail funds: As a company, I’ve decided not to donate a percentage of proceeds, because I didn't want my donations tied to my sales numbers. I’ll be honest, sometimes sales aren’t great but the need for justice still is. I have already made a donation to Black Visions Collective and I’ve added Black and Pink and Trans Lifeline as the next organizations I’ll make donations to when I am able.
• Joined my community in protest: My brand is based in Omaha, NE and my city is mourning, fighting, and pushing for change. On May 30, 2020, James Scurlock was killed here in Omaha by a racist white man while he was protesting George Floyd’s murder. His murderer, Jake Gardner, was released with no charges. I’ve been attending rallies, signing petitions, emailing my elected officials and hitting the streets in protest. Culxr House has been a super helpful resource for me here in Omaha. JUSTICE FOR JAMES.
• Continue to celebrate black beauty: The American fashion industry has consistently promoted white ideals. I will continue to fight against this narrow view of beauty. I will use my privilege and voice to advocate for change and have the difficult conversations with my white fashion peers. I truly believe visibility matters, and I keep this in mind when I am casting models for the runway or for photoshoots. All bodies are beautiful.
2020 has been hard, but necessary. Change is hard, but necessary.
LIVE BRAVE. DRESS BRAVE.