Blogging hasn't always been a primary focus for me. It’s not that I don't have anything to say—it's more that I’m not sure people are listening. But in the spirit of my new word for 2021, which is WORTHINESS, I think I need to take a leap of faith and put myself out there a little more. So . . . here it goes!
When I first started designing, Allison Izu was a brand for petite women, short girls like me (I’m barely 5’2”), who felt unseen and unheard by the fashion industry. My “a-ha” moment came in fashion design school at FIT, where I was making clothing for my statuesque model, a fit and lanky girl of 5’8”. I would take the samples home so that I could try the clothing on my body type. The styles looked horrible on my body because everything was hitting me in the wrong places. And that’s when it came to me. I should design clothing for my shorter frame.
So I created my own shorter-fit patterns and I started a brand. OK, it wasn't that easy, but in an effort to speed things up, let’s just say it was that easy. I began the Allison Izu brand making “premium petite denim” and I eventually evolved the brand into a complete collection of styles focusing on a shorter body frame. And while we still use the same fit patterns today, our brand has evolved to include and encompass more than just short girls.
(a photo from one of my first Premium Petite Denim Collection launches)
As my life changed, so did my brand, and what evolved from it was more of a movement about changing the way women felt in their bodies. Sometimes I feel like we are our worst enemies, picking up on our flaws instead of celebrating our beauty, and allowing the negative words to dance through our minds instead of shouting positive and supportive affirmations.
So I started evolving the Allison Izu brand to be a safe place where women can feel seen and heard, and be celebrated, where each style feels like a positive and supportive affirmation of a woman’s beauty and truth. But I realized that all of this has to start with me. I need to turn my focus inward and work through my own negative self talk. I need to start to love and embrace my own “flaws” and change my perception to see these parts of myself as parts to be celebrated and valued.
Will you take this journey with me? I think the first step is realization, to catch ourselves when we start to form a negative thought in our head, when we feel the urge to sigh with some disgust as we look at our “flaws” in the mirror. Let’s work through this together so we can feel worthy, to stand in the light and surround ourselves with love!
If you’re ready to strike out on this journey with me, I have two ways we can start to rethink how we think about our bodies. The first is a book suggestion from a dear friend of mine, Nola, who gifted our “girls group” a book by Louise Hay called Mirror Work. It’s a beautiful book that I am slowly making my way through, to begin to heal my thought patterns and work to start loving myself more. The other thing you can do is start to think about fashion and fit differently, as a means to accentuate your beautiful body and uncover the best in yourself. Check out our #LiveYourLetter campaign and our Izu Body Types. It's a system I’ve created to empower women with the tools to understand their shape, how to style themselves and feel great! I truly believe that Fashion can be Transformative with the Right Fit!