Welcome back to our monthly model feature! The beginning of 2016 was a busy one for us – and we missed January and February’s Model of the Month series features. Luckily – today we will be catching up for both months by featuring two ladies at once – Alexa and Daniela. Alexa and Daniela are an amazing couple living in Brooklyn, NY. Friends of our designer, Mallorie Dunn – Alexa has modeled for SmartGlamour in two look books, two runway shows, and one campaign. Daniela joined us last summer, modeling for our #SameSizeDifferentEyes campaign – which Alexa was also a part of. Read on to learn more about them and their experiences working with SmartGlamour.
Tell me a bit about what you do in your daily lives (other than being fabulous SG models/ambassadors.)
Daniela – I spend my day pushing buttons as an Assistant Editor for HBO’s Vice. When the weather is nice, I ride my bike any chance I get through Brooklyn to get where I need to go. On good days, I get to play guitar and sing some of my favorite tunes. Most of the time, I am walking our dog Kobe or playing with her instead of anything else I could be doing – which is what I’d rather do anyway. And to unwind, nothing is better than a night with Grey’s Anatomy. No one has it worse than those guys..
Alexa – I’m the General Manager of a restaurant and bar in Midtown Manhattan. It is long hours and hard work, very far from the world of fashion. My strengths lie in coordinating and communicating with my staff and guests. It’s stressful trying to handle the daily catastrophes that come up in the restaurant business, while still maintaining the calm assertive energy of a leader. I have incredibly supportive staff who keep my job fun and rewarding on a daily basis. At home, D and I live with our dog Kobe, and learn something new every day about how to be responsible for the care and well being of another living thing. It still blows my mind that I am growing into a real life adult!
(Question for Alexa) You’ve modeled for us in look books, runway shows, and campaigns – which would you say is your favorite and why?
Alexa – I love any chance that I get to participate in a SmartGlamour event of any kind! With every SmartGlamour project I have worked on, the environment has been full of the most incredible positive energy. I think Mallorie chooses her models based on a confidence and positivity that they project from the inside out, and she has a knack for gathering together like minded women. It is truly something special to gather for a shoot, or a runway show, and feel a connection with all of the women of all different backgrounds and experiences – having a freaking great time, working towards a common cause, sharing their stories, and supporting each other. At every event I have participated in, I have witnessed valuable connections being made between women who want to help each other be successful. When I look back on my outlook at my first SmartGlamour shoot – I recall being very nervous to stand in front of a camera and be the center of attention. I felt compelled to apologize to the photographer because I wasn’t a model, and found myself overthinking and second guessing my actions. When I walk into a SmartGlamour shoot or show now, I know that I am in a safe space, I feel confident that I look great, and have an amazing time interacting with the other women and posing for the camera!
(Question for Daniela) You were a part of our #SameSizeDifferentEyes campaign which was our first campaign to get a significant amount of press and attention from big name publications. How was that experience for you?
Daniela – It was great! I’ve never liked being photographed, but the experience was amazing. I love any experience that brings together fierce ladies, and we had some really great discussions before, during, and after. It’s refreshing to be around women with similar attitudes about the status of feminism and women’s health/beauty/cultural issues. At every SmartGlamour event I have participated in, I always learn something new from the amazing women that end up there too. We share stories about our insecurities, and how fashion culture tends to address these insecurities negatively. SmartGlamour is a breath of fresh air, and is probably one of the safest spaces I have encountered to express myself. That’s what I love most about participating in these shoots or other SmartGlamour events; it’s the connections women make and conversations that we dive into. I know I won’t be shamed, or put down, and instead – we are all experiencing the same negative forces around us that we have to address in our daily lives. Having a safe space to share these thoughts, challenges, and political ideologies with like-minded women was incredible.
It was also a lot of fun to see all the publicity that the campaign achieved. It was exhilarating to read/see what people were saying about it, and a lot of coverage came from media outlets that understood what SmartGlamour was working to achieve through the campaign. I was also happy to be interviewed, and get to expand on what the experience was like.
How has modeling for SmartGlamour impacted either your feelings about your body/beauty/appearance – and/or your opinions on body positivity and feminism through fashion?
Alexa – I’ve said a number of times that I think everyone should get the opportunity to model for SmartGlamour! I started our apologizing for being my “non model” self, and through a few great experiences, had a complete turnaround. Now when I walk onto a SmartGlamour set or runway, I know that all I have to do is have a wonderful time, be confident, and my photos/performance will turn out great! At a SmartGlamour event, body positivity is the norm, and there is no room for shaming or negativity. Unfortunately, there aren’t many other spaces where this is the case. It has made the body positive movement more forefront in my mind, and given me the confidence to share what I have learned with others who may be struggling with self doubt and body love. Everything about our appearance related insecurities comes from a mental place, not a physical one. And it is so difficult to change what has been ingrained in our minds. It becomes a bit easier to learn and begin to accept the concepts of body positivity when you surround yourself with a community of people who share the message, loudly, openly, and confidently.
Daniela – Maybe because it’s always been difficult for me to find clothes that actually fit me – I always had a negative opinion of fashion, shopping, and I’m ashamed to say – the women that enjoyed those things. But to err is human, and to admit you’re mistaken is bitchin’. Through working on the #SameSizeDifferentEyes campaign, and attending other SmartGlamour events, my optimism for the future of this industry have increased drastically. I feel inspired after every event, and I come home believing slowly but surely, that organizations like SmartGlamour will become the mainstream, and the issues I had growing up won’t be as debilitating to future generations.
I know you both have not really modeled for other companies prior to working with us – what’s it like – for someone who may be a newbie? And how is it modeling alongside your partner?
Daniela – Oh man – watching Alexa work her on-screen magic is awesome. She’s such a natural, and I’ve even picked up a few of her tricks. I’ve only done friend’s favors with shoots, and once did a professional shoot, but I was always very uncomfortable. It’s a great feeling once I am able to loosen up a little bit and have fun. I have often “smized” on various occasions, but “smizing” for a good and worthwhile purpose is always much more gratifying.
Alexa – As I mentioned, I was super nervous at first, and had some feelings of inadequacy about my lack of experience, but very quickly into my first shoot – I started to have so much fun, that the nerves melted away! I had such an amazing time modeling alongside Daniela. She is so incredibly stunning, so I enjoyed getting to watch her be the center of attention. The SmartGlamour photos are some of my favorite pictures of her.
You’re both such wonderful supporters and ambassadors for SmartGlamour – what is it about our brand vs others that makes you a cheerleader?
Alexa – All. The. Things. I’ve known Mallorie since SmartGlamour was just a budding idea, and I’ve watched it bloom into the one woman powerhouse of a company that is it! I support SmartGlamour because I love the concept and the message, I love the clothes, and I love Mallorie. Every day, I meet people who could benefit from the customizable, inclusive type of clothing company that SmartGlamour embodies. The need for a company like this is so great in our society. Women have so far to go in this world, and we will never get there by second guessing ourselves and putting each other down! Let’s support the type of company that not only fills a demand for customizable, size inclusive clothing, but that also teaches us another way of thinking, and doing business.
Daniela – I truly believe in SmartGlamour and Mallorie’s brand. I have struggled my entire adult life to find the “right” size, or thinking I had to adjust my body to fit a sizing chart – when it’s really the other way around. I’d participate in anything SmartGlamour related. It’s extremely unique. It offers women another perspective, that they aren’t alone. That there is a network of other women that are here to support them if they need it. That the number value on an article of clothing does not dictate your personal worth or value. That there are options out there to feel amazing in the clothes that you are wearing despite what it says on the tag. And that SmartGlamour offers the opportunity, space, and clothing that is made with women of all sizes in mind.
Is there anything you’d like viewers/customers/followers of ours to know or learn or be inspired by from viewing your photos?
Daniela – All of the above.
Alexa – I hope customers know how genuine the smiles are in the photos. The SmartGlamour models look so amazing because they feel great in their own skin, and what they are wearing. Can you imagine how different the world might be – if women everywhere walked around feeling that kind of great?