The second installment of inclusive clothing designer SmartGlamour's #AllMeansAll campaign is here, and it's an unabashed celebration of plus size folks, particularly those over a size 24. Founder and designer Mallorie Dunn, who ethically hand-produces every item SmartGlamour sells, says that the collection is about giving plus size women and femmes options that will let "these babes to live out loud in bright florals and prints."
SmartGlamour has always produced clothing in sizes XXS to 6X "and beyond," with Dunn offering customization options for people of any size. This collection ditches the usual bland colors and "slimming effects" of many plus size pieces, Dunn says.
"[I believe] that everyone can be bold. Fierce. Bright," she explains. "Everyone deserves access to the fashion that expresses them the best. Our mission has, and always will be, to provide style at any size for all women and femmes. #AllMeansAll is just one more way to give everyone visibility."
The collection is a combo of old and new, featuring classic SmartGlamour pieces like the Valentina racerback dress, the Jaime wrap skirt, and the Keriann maxi dress, plus new creations: the Lindy sheath and ruffle dress, Substantia scoop tank maxi dress, and Virgie scoop neck tee.
Dunn dressed up the older pieces, offering them in bright, bolder patterns, and the new pieces, she says, are all named after fat acceptance warriors she looks up to, like writer Lindy West, photographer Substantia Jones, and activist Virgie Tovar. Adding more eye-catching colors and patterns to older clothes is about strategically giving customers more options.
"Every time I do a mini collection or campaign, I am aiming to add more prints, fabrics, and color options to my website as well," she explains. "I know customers would like to be able to see as many fabric and color options on actual models versus a fabric swatch when shopping online, but unfortunately since SmartGlamour is entirely run and produced by myself alone - I can only make and photograph so many items when shooting a collection, look book, or campaign."
She adds, "Since I strongly believe in shooting these campaigns in between our larger collections, as a tool for pushing [inclusive] messaging forward, I use it also as a tool to get more product images onto our website. I knew I wanted to bring in the new floral scuba fabrics that you see — they are a favorite among my customers, and my fabric store got in these new prints, which are beautiful, so I wanted to shoot them and make them available on the site. I then wanted to reinforce the idea that larger bodies don't always want to be draped in tents and wearing black to 'appear slimmer' — so I accented the prints with bright solid colors."
Dunn's work with SmartGlamour blends fashion and activism. The first #AllMeansAll installment comprised a full cast of transgender and femme models, and in February, SmartGlamour's New York Fashion Week show featured two disabled models — one of whom walked with her service dog. The brand's Workwear capsule collection, which debuted March 13, was created to help women and femmes in the workplace be more comfortable in business clothes.
And upcoming #AllMeansAll installments include a full cast of babes of color, a full cast of disabled models, models over the age of 45, and "as many more as I can come up with!" Dunn says.
She explains, "I believe I am dedicated to dressing and defending and uplifting all groups, all humans, anyone who wants to wear the clothing I make. [...] I firmly believe that our bodies, complexions, ability or disability, are things about us that are for us, not for others, and that we (specifically women and femmes) have so much more to offer to the world, to discuss, to add to the conversation than our bodies.
"I also firmly believe that being interested in fashion, and expressing oneself, and feeling wonderful, does not equate to being vapid or vain or silly or unintelligent or uninterested in making change, making an impact, doing important work. Things that are attributed to femininity (for whatever reason) are very often belittled and put down, and I think it's important to lift these things, and the people who celebrate them and enjoy them, up, while also lifting those peoples up."
She continues, "And over the three years I have run [SmartGlamour] — I am constantly coming up with new ways to celebrate people and their bodies, new ways to prove that we don't fit in boxes, we can be whatever and whomever we like and are, and to make these things physically accessible to all people — not just the small percentage of people who are catered to by the mainstream fashion, beauty, and media industries."
Along with upcoming #AllMeansAll installments, Dunn is planning to open a showroom in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, which she says is the first of its kind to cater to all sizes and shapes of people. She also plans to do pop-up shops over the summer.
Fans are always looking forward to what SmartGlamour has next, and with so many exciting things on the docket for Dunn and her inclusive brand, it's hard not to be extra excited this time around.