Women all around the world are always doing incredible things. Now this collection — created by women for women — is helping celebrate those women while giving back at the same time. To celebrate International Women's Day in style, Aerie teamed up with four incredible women for the Role Models Collection. Each piece was designed by a different, well, female role model, and all proceeds got to the charity of her choice.
Aerie is all about girl power. The brand changed the game when they decided to stop Photoshopping images and even regularly partner with NEDA to promote positive body image. Now they're making a statement with the Role Models Collection. There are four different styles in the collection representing each role model — Aly Raisman, Yara Shahidi, Rachel Platten, and Iskra Lawrence.
Each woman chose the slogan and an organization for all the proceeds from their design to go to. Proceeds from Raisman's "Survivor" one-piece swimsuit goes to Darkness to Light, Shahidi's "Thrive" sweatshirt goes to Innocence Project, Platten's "Making Waves" tee goes to I Am That Girl, and Lawrence's legging goes to NEDA. There's also the "The Future is #AerieREAL" tee that benefits NEDA.
Raisman tells Bustle she chose the word "Survivor" because it is a universal word that reaches countless women.
"In my opinion, everyone is a survivor of something," she says. "We have all been through a tough time. Life is a roller coaster, there are so many ups and downs. I want people to focus on being proud of what they've overcome instead of hyper-focusing on the challenging parts of their life."
Though Raisman says not dwelling on the bad isn't always easy, she hopes her suit inspires women to find their strength. And she hopes it helps women embrace the label of a "survivor."
"I don't want people to be ashamed of something that happened," she says. "If someone hurt you, it is NEVER your fault. Abuse is never ever OK. Victim shaming must stop. We all must support each other.
"I don't like the word victim, survivor is more fitting. Being a survivor means you're strong and we are all survivors of something."
Raisman says she purposefully chose a bathing suit for the complementary message it sends when paired with the term "Survivor," especially in relation to sexual violence.
"Women shouldn’t have to worry about dressing modestly to be respected," she says. "If someone is sexually abused, why do we ask what they were wearing? What you wear has nothing to do with abuse, period. We must shift the dialogue and educate everyone to understand that abuse is never ever OK. I will continue to wear what makes me feel most confident — and so should you."
Odds are you can afford to buy more than one piece from the collection. The price of the collection ranges from $15.95 to $44.95, which is pretty darn affordable. Especially considering that each purchase is a full donation to an incredible cause.
Plus there's a piece for every occasion. Wear the T-shirt and leggings to chill, the sweatshirt for a chilly summer night, and the swimsuit to the beach. The role models picked some of the best-selling and most comfortable designs that the brand has for the collection.
That's not all that they chose, either. Along with the four designs that they helped create, each woman also chose her favorite styles from the website. So not only can you shop their charitable collection, but you can also stock up on tried and true items that the women love as well. If it's not time for you to update your closet, it will be very soon.
Of course, it's worth noting that a monetary donation to any of the four charities is equally as helpful. You can go to all of the organizations' individual websites to donate safely.
While it's great to get rewarded for giving back, let's not forget about the real meaning of the items.
At the end of the day, fashion matters. Every single time that you buy something, you're supporting something — be it good or bad. With this Aerie collection, you know your money is going toward the greater good. And that's an amazing piece of mind.
The Role Model Collection stands for incredible women doing amazing things and giving to great causes. What does your wardrobe say about you?