I've been reminiscing a little bit about how I started in the fashion industry and what it looked like over 20 years ago. It was a scary place to be for most women. I don't know if you've had the same experience in your industry, but I always felt overlooked and excluded. As a short Asian women, I wasn't seeing examples of myself in magazines or fashion features. We didn't have access to social media and so what we saw in the magazines was what we accepted as the truth.
The self-doubt and questioning came up so much for me when I was shopping, especially for denim. Was it just me or "do these jeans make me look shorter?" Is that possible?? I literally thought I was alone in this battle. Until I realized I wasn't - which is why I started my premium petite denim brand in 2007. And even though I got some attention here in Hawaii, I couldn't sell the brand into showrooms or other stores.
Buyers and owners would literally tell me that they didn't have "shorter customers" and no one ever complained about the inseam of their jeans being too long. Wait, "it IS just me!" then. I let the negative self-talk spiral start all over again. Being from Hawaii, I thought maybe it was just a Hawaii thing, or there weren't enough Asians on the mainland. Slowly, I morphed my brand into something else and stopped focusing on expanding nationally.
But the truth is, there is a need for a new kind of clothing company. Although my roots will always be about petites, I think my purpose is much bigger. Not just to focus on inseams and the lengths of styles, but to think of the complete body of women when I design. Especially the body types that are all too often overlooked. I haven't met too many women who are the "ideal" 34-26-36 measurements -- this is the measurement of the model form that most designers create patterns from.
My body measurements are 34-31-37 (eek!), no where close to what the "standards" designers are creating from. Which is usually why shopping for clothing can sometimes be a bit depressing . . . things are not made for my A body type, or my "extra" mid-section.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because I believe that education is empowerment. I believe that when we have all the information about how things are done and why - we have a clearer understanding of what the truth is. I'm not alone in having fit issues with clothing, I'm not the only one who hates shopping for pants, because I honestly don't know what size I will fit! And with more education and empowerment - we can start to lean into making ourselves believe in the truth.
I'm working on leaning into the truth that my body is perfect just the way it is. I won't be happier if I lose 10 lbs, I won't find more joy if I have a flat tummy. This is what I want to believe at my core, this is where I want to live from, where I want to design from and what I want to empower you to believe as well.
We are all PERFECT just as we are! And I'm committed to designing the most perfect styles for our perfect selves! I'm here on this imperfect/perfect journey with you and I hope you take some time to look in the mirror and tell yourself how beautiful and perfect you are! I love you so much!!