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Model of the Month : Gwendolyn Boniface

Our March Model of the Month is Gwen! Gwen first modeled for us in our #InYourSize campaign where we featured 60 babes in the same outfit. She then joined us to model our Amelia Graphic Tees during Pride Month last year. She also took part in a live fit video, getting some custom fit pants. Learn more about her below.

1. Aside from occasionally modeling for SmartGlamour – what do you do?

I am a teaching artist, an actor, a singer, a roller derby jeerleader and a burlesque performer (under the name Rosie Rapture). My biggest time commitments at the moment are teaching musical theatre and girls empowerment workshops to elementary schoolers, as well as preparing for my next couple of burlesque gigs. When I’m not booked up doing one of those things, I volunteer for a variety of social justice causes through my church and hang out with my foster rabbit Ariel.

2. How did you get involved with the brand?

I think I first saw the casting notice for the In Your Size campaign on the Facebook group Queer Women and Trans People in the Performing Arts and got in touch from there. I actually ended up being a last minute replacement for another model who had dropped out.


3. You’ve modeled for us multiple times – what makes you continue to come back?

I’ve been a performer in various capacities since I was little, but I’ve always hated having my picture taken. Whenever I looked at photos of myself, all I could see were the things about me that would make me un-castable. It’s hard to feel good about your natural appearance when you know your success is dependent in part upon fitting the ingenue mold. Getting involved with SmartGlamour has helped me start to heal that hurt because I don’t feel like I have to hide my nose, my stomach, whatever else I’m feeling bad about in order to fool someone into casting me. I’m enough as I am.

4. What does body positivity mean to you?

To me, body positivity is simply the idea that a person’s worth is not contingent upon the size, shape, color or health of their body.


5. If there is a message you could put across to women/femmes/non binary folks through your modeling photos – what would that be?

You don’t owe it to anyone else to be their idea of attractive. People are going to have a lot of different opinions about how you should dress, eat, exercise, style your hair…whatever. But ultimately, you are the person who has to wake up every morning and go about your day in your body, so make choices that make you feel good and don’t apologize for them.

6. What is your advice to people who would like to give modeling a try?

 Do your research and make sure to seek out environments where you feel respected and valued. And if you get the opportunity to work with SmartGlamour — DO IT.

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Model of the Month : Jonna Capone

Our Model of the Month for February is Jonna Capone! Jonna joined us first for Spring 2017, and has modeled in multiple shoots, a live fit video, and helped behind the scenes as well. Learn more about her below!

Jonna in our Karin Wiggle Dress from Winter 2017

1. Aside from occasionally modeling for SmartGlamour – what do you do?

I actually model, write and perform full time. I am body positive activist and public speaker, developing a body positive course particularly for young theatre students as well as a blogger and influencer.
2. How did you get involved with the brand?
I actually did a photoshoot with a good friend and ambassador for SmartGlamour Alex C. and she encouraged me to go to an open call about a year or so ago. I’ve been in love ever since!

Jonna in our Dunn Satin + Lace Babydoll from Lingerie 2017

 

3. You’ve modeled for us multiple times – what makes you continue to come back?
I believe strongly that SmartGlamour goes beyond clothing, it’s a message, a movement, and a revolution in body positivity AND fashion that’s here to stay. I share in its message AND I love the clothes that are made perfectly for MY body who wouldn’t be want to come back?
4. What does body positivity mean to you?
BEING UNAPOLOGETICALLY YOU at whatever size, shape or ability. I believe that we are constantly told to hide our bodies or fit into a societal standard that doesn’t work and being in love with your body in all forms is a lifesaving concept.
5. If there is a message you could put across to women/femmes/non binary folks through your modeling photos – what would that be?
I would say my message would be that it is a journey. That loving yourself and your body continues to be a journey for me with new and wonderful challenges but that I will continue to put myself out there in front of a camera because it is vital to see all representation of the extraordinary people in our world.
6. What is your advice to people who would like to give modeling a try?

My advice would be to do your research! On companies, brands, designers, agencies etc. Do your research to protect yourself! Also to not get discouraged because it is a tough path and you may find yourself discouraged with No’s or strict measurements or rules but being you is unique, beautiful, and groundbreaking!

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Fashion is for everyone. Clothing can heal.

One of my biggest personal gripes with the fashion industry is how exclusionary it is – not just in size and price accessibility – but in pretension. Everyone wears clothing – yet the industry at large spends money + energy making folks feel left out, not good enough. They hope this is “aspirational” – that we will pay hand over fist to get an invite to the cool club. But for many folks – it just makes us not want to participate at all.

No more. Not here. Fashion is for everyone. And it can heal.

I’m so excited to release our newest campaign highlighting these ideas. See below for 5 quick videos featuring each one featuring a woman as we chat about why they hate shopping, how fashion makes them feel left behind, and then watch us start to solve it all.

Stunning videography by Monet Eliastam, Models + Participants are: Christina, Michelle, Tricia, Jacqueline, and Meghan

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Model of the Model : Jenna Lee

January’s Model of the Month feature is Jenna Lee! Jenna joined the SG family during the #InYourSize campaign and then came back for our Spring 2017 runway show.

Always happy to have her! Learn more about her below.

1. Aside from occasionally modeling for SmartGlamour – what do you do?

I’m a subacute rehabilitation nurse. I help take care of patients after surgery. I love my job but it’s beyond challenging at times, so I do model as often as I can. I try to split to two equally.

2. How did you get involved with the brand?

I got involved with the brand via social media. I had seen a friend wearing an amazing printed maxi dress that I loved. When her caption mentioned smart glamour, I followed their social. I saw not only unique clothing, but unique models and I was so impressed. I saw a post for a casting and I remember feeling comfortable submitting (which was a first) because it stated it was specifically looking for all body types, not just the ones who “typically” get cast.

3. You’ve modeled for us multiple times – what makes you continue to come back?

 I have modeled and walked for SmartGlamour multiple times. I truly believe in the work Mallorie is creating because there is such a need for ethical, stylish clothing in all sizes. I love being a part of her campaigns because they really feature everyone. There’s no exclusivity, which is unheard of in mainstream fashion. And the fact that she makes gorgeous clothing by hand and customizes it for all sizes is something that’s super special. I’m all about everyone feeling beautiful and that’s what she is about as well. Because of that, I’ll always be a supporter and come back.

4. What does body positivity mean to you?

 Body positivity to me, means that you are happy with yourself in your current state and you want others to feel the same. It kills me to hear people say “ugh like 10 more lbs to lose before I can wear this or do that” I literally cringe because your weight should not stop you from doing anything in your life. We are ingrained with expectations to look a certain way and be a certain size to have “permission” to dress in certain fashions. Breaking all those rules is what body positivity means to me. Embracing everything- rolls, thighs, blemishes, stretch marks etc. Chances are most people have them and the energy we use to act like we don’t is much better used elsewhere. Body positivity is about not waiting to attain perfection but realizing you are perfect as you are, and then having the confidence to flaunt it.

5. If there is a message you could put across to women/femmes/non binary folks through your modeling photos – what would that be?

 The message I hope to get across to everyone from my photos is that you don’t have to fit the mold that society has created to feel beautiful or take a beautiful picture. I don’t fit it at all. I’m petite, actually plus size (16), and I’ve modeled for multiple companies, still dress fashionable, and most importantly, wear what I want. There’s no reason you can’t do the same.

6. What is your advice to people who would like to give modeling a try?

 I would say first off, you need to come to terms with your insecurities because modeling is a career where thick skin is a must. More times than not you’re going to hear no. Understanding that that no doesn’t make you ugly, or too fat,or just not good enough- it only means you weren’t a good fit for that brand at that time. So, use it as a learning experience and keep it moving. The best advice I’ve ever heard is : you’re not going to be for everyone and that’s ok. You can’t allow the No’s to effect your sense of self worth and confidence. After you feel you have a strong sense of self and plenty of confidence, I would jump in and take some photos. They don’t have to be professional at all- have a friend take some on their phone just to get comfortable in front of the camera. Look at the pics and see what poses and facial expressions you like and try to expand those. When your comfortable, post them to your social! Use social media to your advantage because there are so many great photographers out there looking to shoot for their own portfolios that you can both benefit. After a few shoots, re-evaluate. Make sure you’re having fun with it. It shouldn’t be a source of stress or negativity. If you are, then start branching out to an actual portfolio and maybe some castings. Be brave! You don’t lose anything by applying. You lose by not taking the chance and that’s where you’re confidence and body positivity will come into play.
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Model of the Month : Moet Cristal

A few days late, but our last Model of the Month feature from 2017 is here, in 2018! This month we are introducing you to Moet Cristal – an SG staple who has been in multiple shoots, shows, and campaigns. Moet even created the floral backdrop from our Fall 2016 shoot and show. Learn more about this awesome artist below!



1. Aside from occasionally modeling for SmartGlamour – what do you do? 

I’m a freelance plus size model, visual artist focusing on curvy colorful work in mixed media, photography & digital form, as well as a personal care assistant. 

2. How did you get involved with the brand? 

I found SmartGlamour through their Winter Holiday campaign in 2015. When I went through seeing all those women of different heights, shapes, sizes, and ethnicities, modeling such cute, luxurious styles, I was hooked on the brand. I then signed up for their newsletter and followed SG on Instagram and I auditioned in January/February 2016 for their Spring Fashion show and lookbook. 


3. You’ve modeled for us multiple times – what makes you continue to come back?

The clothes are beautiful and unique! However the core, the soul of SmartGlamour is so beautiful. It is the atmosphere created by so many diverse, intelligent, multi talented babes who are all awesome in their eclectic ways, coming together for the sake of empowerment through designer Mallorie Dunn’s fashions. When we join together for an SmartGlamour event, shoot, or show, the feeling of encouragement oozes from each SG babe. It’s like a big fashionable, feminist family!

4. What does body positivity mean to you?

Body positivity is accepting and embracing yourself (and others) as you exist in this moment. Body positivity is for everyone and every type of body. It can be hard to unlearn what society tells us is “ideal” – but it’s doable by living moment by moment. What I have learned through working with and following SmartGlamour is that body positivity is realizing that your experience is only yours, and to be really bopo one must be able to listen to the multitude of varying experiences the people you encounter have. It is also standing up for yourself and people who are marginalized by the standards of society. We each deserve to achieve greatness and love ourselves as we are. When we advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves and may not an fair chance, we can all make progress and thrive.

5. If there is a message you could put across to other women/femmes/non binary through your modeling photos – what would that be?

I’m a very hairy, queer Puerto Rican woman, average height at about 5’5.5” tall, size 24-28 (3-5x depending on the brand), who deals with acne, wears glasses, and has had to cope with mental illnesses such as anxiety, ptsd, and depression throughout my life. I say all of that because society/trolls will try their best to make you feel terrible for being HUMAN – but I’m still out here being FIERCE, FAT AND FABULOUS!!! Modeling is something that I do for myself, and I love to do it, but it can be challenging when things are pulling at you to do other things, including hate yourself, or put yourself last. You have to learn to put yourself first! Learn to love yourself first and to see the innate beauty in not only your body, but your mind and spirit. Treat yourself well and exude your unique greatness in life. Those quirks you have are what makes you, you. Don’t let ANYONE (including your inner bully) dull your shine!!!

6. What is your advice to people who would like to give modeling a try?

I would say DO IT! It is fun and very rewarding!!! If they are looking to make a career out of it,  I would give this advice: It’s competitive but I believe there’s room in the industry for everyone who will work hard for it. Start small and locally. Find someone, could be a friend, family member, or a photographer who is local to you to take photos of you. Take portraits and full length shots; experiment with poses, facial expressions, angles, and learn to find your light.
Practice, practice, practice! Post frequently on your social media and tag the brands that you wear. Google is your best friend; Research everything you can about the industry and niche you want to work in. Invest in what you need to present yourself the way you want, whether it’s clothes, makeup, tech, books, or classes. It can be an expensive adventure establishing a career as a model… But take it slow, one day at a time, one step at a time, and believe in yourself – you’re amazing, beautiful!

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5 Fashion New Year’s Resolutions to Make 2018 Your Best-Dressed!

It’s almost 2018 — which means that “New Year’s Resolution” season is just around the corner. You know: the couple of weeks where everyone resolves to become less themselves. Smaller. Quieter. More “disciplined.”

Normally, we’re not big fans of New Year’s resolutions here, specifically because many people use this time to get down on themselves. However, this year, we’re going to flip the script. If you absolutely must make a New Year’s resolution, why not make one that encourages you to show up, unapologetically, as more of yourself?

To help you get started, here are 5 body-positive, fashion-focused New Year’s resolutions:

1. Be Bold and Bright

First and foremost, New Year’s resolutions should give you the opportunity to become bolder, brighter, and more empowered. Which means: if you want to wear bright colors and make a statement, then go for it! Now is not the time to get smaller or take up less space in the world. Wear the thing “they” said you “couldn’t” wear. Be outrageous. Flatter yourself. If what you wear tells people what you stand for or how you feel about yourself, then use it to show the people of 2018 how you do you.

Looks to inspire you:

 

 

2. Be Sexy — for You

For all too long, femmes have been conditioned to believe that sexy is a thing you should be for other people’s enjoyment. While it’s nice to share yourself with another person, too often, that’s not what we’re doing when we dress or act “sexy.” There’s nothing wrong with showing yourself a little love and tapping into your own sensuality — but we need to make sure that, when we do it, we’re loving ourselves first. So let’s make a resolution to take back the gaze and find a little self-love first — so that when we choose to share our “sexy,” it’s an empowered, consensual choice.

Looks to inspire you:

3. Be Fancy

These days, it feels like everyone’s dressing down — from the theatre to the office, loose jeans and hoodies seem to be the norm. But sometimes it feels good to dress up and go out looking like a million bucks. The good news is: you don’t need a million bucks to get a little fancy. Just a few nice pieces with some statement jewelry, and you’re all set for a night on the town — or a very fancy trip to the grocery store. Whatever floats your boat!

Looks to inspire you:

 

 

4. Be Unconventionally Professional

In the working world, dressing “professionally” usually means either a) dressing as masculine as possible or b) muting your clothing choices so as not to “distract” anyone in the office. (Sigh.) In 2018, let’s take back the office. Yes, you can be professional and still look femme. Yes, you can wear bright colors or unconventional designs and still get the job done. You spend the majority of your waking hours at work — don’t waste another minute trying to please other people with your appearance.

Looks to inspire you:

 

 

5. Be a Show-Off

According to society, one of the worst things we can do is be proud of ourselves — and want to share that pride. Too often, we take that advice to mean that we should hide ourselves even when we’ve got something special to share. The thing is, there’s a line between showing off to make other people feel bad about what they don’t have and showing off the parts of yourself — mental and physical — that you love. In 2018, emphasize some of your favorite assets with off-the-shoulder, peek-a-boo, and cropped pieces. Be a show-off — because pride is only a “sin” when you’re using it as a weapon.

Looks to inspire you:

Sheath dress with keyhole cut out

The Joan Sheath Dress

What are YOUR New Year’s fashion resolutions? Share your photos and resolutions in SmartGlamour wear on Instagram with the hashtag #SmartGlamourNYE! (And if you need a few pieces to get yourself started, check out the SmartGlamour shop now! Our end of year sale is going now – 20% off + free shipping will be added to your cart automatically, ending on Jan 1st, don’t miss it!)

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Introducing the SmartGlamour Tribute Series: Feminist Artists of the 1970s

It’s almost Christmas, but did you know that SmartGlamour’s clothing lines have a hidden “easter egg?” You may have noticed that many of our products have people’s names — that’s not just a stylistic choice; it’s a deliberate way in which we pay homage to the people who have made waves and pioneered the way forward throughout history.

Today, we’re going to take a look at the Holiday 2017 line, which celebrates feminist artists of the 70’s:

Renate Eisenegger

Renate Eisenegger is a multi-disciplinary avant-garde artist from Germany. Some of her photographic work includes painting her face with bright white paint and abstracting herself with geometric lines or photographing herself disappearing as she covers her features with cotton and tape. Recently, during an exhibition of Feminist Avant-Garde art in London, Renate Eisnegger stated, “For over forty years, no one took any interest in my works. They were all in the attic.” If you can find some of her art outside of an attic, then you should go check it out.

Lynn Hershman Leeson

Lynn Hershman Lesson is living art. For two years in the seventies, she created an entirely different persona and lived that persona’s life instead of her own. She explored her own femininity through the construction of someone else’s — of her experience, she said, “Through fiction you can sometimes get to a deeper truth.” Beyond using herself as a canvas, her later art included film and digital technology to explore desire, femininity, and social construction.

Cindy Sherman

A woman after my own heart, Cindy Sherman explored the performance of “woman” through photography throughout the seventies. Using makeup, wigs, and clothing, she constructed a series of personas and photographed herself, raising questions about “common stereotypes and cultural assumptions” while simultaneously creating and critiquing the photograph and its viewer.

Karin Mack

Austrian artist Karin Mack also played with identity in her works. She began her career as a documentary photographer — one who photographs things as they are — but she quickly moved to concept photography to explore and deconstruct the idealized image and the expectations we place on the image of “woman.” One of her most striking series explores “the death of the image…as an act of liberation.”

Mary Beth Edelson

Mary Beth Edelson is an American multidisciplinary artist who was also active in the feminist and civil rights movements of the 60s and 70s. Her work deconstructs patriarchal history, as in Some Living Women Artists/Last Supper, where she replaced the heads of the men in da Vinci’s famous painting with her peers. She often turns to goddesses and strong female characters and tropes from history and fiction in her art.

Hannah Wilke

Using unconventional media, like chewing gum and laundry lint, Hannah Wilke’s work was radical and in-your-face. She was a performance artist who was unafraid to shy away from the taboo — which meant that many of her pieces were evocative of (or explicitly about) the vulva/vagina. She often used her own body as a canvas — such as in an iconic photograph of herself covered in chewing gum shaped like vulvas in the S.O.S. — Starification Object Series.

VALIE EXPORT

VALIE EXPORT was born Waltraud Lehner. As a revolt against parents who had been complacent during the Nazi regime and against patriarchal norms, she shed her father’s and husband’s names, and instead took the name of a brand of cigarettes. Her artwork was performative and in-your-face — including a piece of performance art called Tap and Touch Cinema, wherein she wore a curtained “theater” on her upper body and had passersby touch her unseen breasts through the curtain. She also wrote a powerful manifesto on women’s art in 1972.

It’s amazing how much feminist art has flown just off below radar of popular culture. If any of these women and their work sparked your curiosity, go and take a deep dive! The more we support the feminist art that does exist, the more room it creates in the popular narrative for art like this. 

SmartGlamour pays tribute to more than just this one group of people — stay tuned for future posts explaining the backstory and history behind the names of your favorite pieces of clothing.

And don’t forget: December 1 is your last day to shop in order to receive your order by Christmas, and December 8 is your last day if you want your order in time for New Year’s Eve! If you’ve been waiting to order, now’s the time.

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Model of the Month : Tracy Rivas

October’s Model of the Month feature is all about Tracy Rivas! Tracy was introduced to SmartGlamour in 2015, and has participated in campaigns, shoots, and shows since. She is a positive ray of light – and we love having her as a part of the SG family. Read more about her below!


Tracy in our Hillary Cropped Tee during the Fall 2015 Runway Show

 

1. Aside from occasionally modeling for SmartGlamour – what do you do? I work as a community events manager at WeWork. I oversee and source events for our 40 buildings in New York City.

2. How did you get involved with the brand? A good friend of mine, Alexa Rose Mullen, asked me to join her to visit a SmartGlamour pop-up shop in the East Village. I was immediately drawn to the clothing and the mission behind SmartGlamour. I was then asked to be a part of Mallorie’s #SameSizeDifferentEyes Campaign, which was an incredibly inspiring campaign and I became more in love with the brand than I already was.  I was then fortunate enough to walk one of her Fall Fashion Runway Shows and life officially changed forever. I am forever indebted to Mallorie and will be her advocate and ambassador for LIFE.

Tracy and Alexa in our #SameSizeDifferentEyes campaign


3. You’ve modeled for us multiple times – what makes you continue to come back? It’s an honor and a privilege to come back and model for Mallorie. Every time, I feel my super woman wings appear and I feel unstoppable. Supporting and representing SmartGlamour means I am helping to allow other women and femmes to feel comfortable and beautiful in their own skin.
 
4. What does body positivity mean to you? Body positivity means being unaffected by the judgments and criticisms of society where I am limitless in feeling badass, beautiful, confident and comfortable in my own skin. There is a sort of invincibility in the things that you can do when you are in body positive with yourself and with others.

Tracy in our Hensley Mesh Bralette with Appliques and Royalle Underwear

 
5. If there is a message you could put across to women/femmes/non binary folks through your modeling photos – what would that be? There is no force equal to a woman determined to rise.
 
6. What is your advice to people who would like to give modeling a try? No one is stopping you but yourself, go out and show the world how incredibly beautiful and wonderful you are!
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Model of the Month : Ana York

Our next Model of the Month has been working with us for multiple years now – Ana York!

She’s been in runway shows, look books, and mini shoots alike. Learn more about her below.


1. Aside from occasionally modeling for SmartGlamour – what do you do?
I work in Human Resources in hospitality!
2. How did you get involved with the brand?
I got involved with SmartGlamour at first modeling jewelry and then I modeled for the Spring 2015 collection!
3. You’ve modeled for us multiple times – what makes you continue to come back?
There are multiple things that makes me come back! The clothes are of course a given. Each article of clothing is catered to you and your body measurements which I think is so valuable and unique. I’m tall and plus size so to have a custom garment is truly one of a kind and wonderful. I come back for the positive and safe space Mallorie and my fellow models have created. Everyone is accepting of one another, cheers each other on, and being in such an environment is hard to find nowadays.  The positive environment created speaks to the brand, SmartGlamour itself and that is an ultimate reason for coming back. I am honored to represent a brand that carries a truly inclusive and consistent message.
4. What does body positivity mean to you?
To me body positivity means not only an acceptance but a pride and celebration of your body. No matter your size, it’s the positive  affirmation that you are beautiful and worthy of love and happiness.
5. If there is a message you could put across to other people through your modeling photos – what would that be?
I always try to emphasize that my body acceptance journey is still underway. I want people to see that yes, I am confident, but I also have insecurities and things I try to work on. I think that kind vulnerability is important to see and hopefully inspires women that it’s okay to not always feel like you have it together. However, I make a point to show and applaud myself on how far I have come. From someone who was in an abusive relationship with no self esteem to modeling in lingerie, the last few years, I have grown exponentially!
6. What is your advice to other people who would like to give modeling a try?
I think the most important advice to realize it takes so much time, research, money, and effort to be a model. You have to learn your body and angles. You have to network and really be okay with putting yourself out there. It’s tough and there’s a lot of competition so it’s also important to not let rejection get to you. But it’s been such a valuable and rewarding experience for me that I would gladly encourage someone to give it a try.
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In #FashionForAll, #AllMeansAll : Disability

One day I received an email from a cane user who told me she was in tears (happily) after seeing a model glamorously posing amidst the other models on my site, while using her cane. I won’t go into too many details, for the privacy of both her and my model – but suffice it to say, she had never seen that before, and this is why just one example of why representation is so important.

There is so much “othering” happening in our society today – and a group that absolutely feels the brunt of it are disabled folks. We (generally, as a society) infantalize them, assume they can do less than they can, stating they are automatically “inspiring” by just living, and that they constantly need our help through every little thing. (Please watch our Round Table Discussion videos with a few disabled women and femmes to listen to them directly on these issues.) We refuse to see them as whole, beautiful people, full of talent, intelligence, worth, or even sex appeal. The only way to chip away at this – is by changing how they are seen. And the biggest way to do that – is through media representation.

As I’ve stated previously with our last #AllMeansAll installments (Gender, Size, Skin Color) – SmartGlamour has been including all folks since day one – but did not want to tokenism them or exploit their differences for our gain. Every model is equal to the next in SmartGlamour spaces. However, there is a need to take a stand, highlight these folks, and amplify their voices. Yesterday, we produced the following shoot with only disabled models – and guess what? It was exactly like every other SG shoot.

All folks wear clothes. All folks deserve to have access to ethical, affordable, comfortable, fun clothing. Fashion is fun – and should be for all people. And when we say all, we mean all.

For the full shoot – head to our Facebook album.

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