Following the coronavirus outbreak, it’s safe to say that summer 2020 is not like anyone expected. Social distancing means the concerts, parties, and group trips on your calendar aren’t advisable this year. But Revolve may have found a way around it. To celebrate the season responsibly, the popular retailer is continuing their tradition of summer activities but adding a socially-distanced twist.
Instead of the extravagant summer trips the brand typically hosts, dubbed #revolvesummer, they are now producing virtual activations that people can participate in from the safety of their own homes.
The brand is making changes to their invite list, as well. For years, Revolve has been called out on social media for a lack of racial and body diversity among the influencers they work with. However, like many brands, inspired by the growing awareness surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement recently, Revolve released a statement acknowledging their shortcomings. They vowed to take actionable steps to make sure they are more inclusive of the Black community in particular. But talk is cheap, right?
Well, they are taking a first step by teaming up with Schentell Nunn of Offerings, a Black-owned florist based in Los Angeles, and Aimee Song of Song of Style for the second activation of #revolvesummer. This event is the first from Revolve that is centered entirely around the small businesses of two women of color.
Read on for interviews with both entrepreneurs about their inspiration and creative process — as well as influencers who attended the virtual event.
"I just want people to feel really good when they wear Song of Style. Certain pieces make me stand a bit taller, gives me that extra confidence, and makes me feel beautiful. I hope Song of Style does that for people," says Aimee, who launched Song of Style clothing line a little over a year ago and since then has had several collection drops and has more recently expanded into shoes.
Aimee finds that traveling sparks her creativity but since that isn't the safest option lately, she is looking for motivation closer to home. "Since I'm not traveling right now, I've been rewatching a lot of older films. I'm obsessed with the colors. Most recently, I rewatched ‘L.A. Story’ with Steve Martin and Sarah Jessica Parker and a lot of other older films from the ‘90s and it's fun to see L.A. in a colorful and faded lens."
It's always fulfilling to see the finished product, Aimee explains. “I get excited about people wearing the clothes. I always create a narrative for each piece and when I see it on someone and they're capturing it for the world to see, it makes me so happy. It reminds me of the days when I used to wear my favorite outfit and was so excited to photograph it and wear it out. To be able to be part of someone's journey and excitement brings me so much happiness.”
"I hope my business provides people with joy, but also hope,” explains Schentell, who started her business back in 2016. “Offerings have really grown from the ground up with a lot of dedication and hard work. I hope it shows young Black women that even when we come from places of trauma, we can really step away, decide our narrative, and make something beautiful for ourselves."
For Schentell, her inspiration is rooted in helping people convey their emotions through her designs, citing the sentiments around the origins of flower giving. "Flowers have been utilized to display respect and love since the beginning of time. Every time I design, it is to help someone share a message with a friend or a loved one, and this gives me so much inspiration. Designing to display emotions, whether it be joy, gratitude, happiness, endless love is by far the most inspiring part of my work."
It inspires her to put her all into her floral designs. “I am always so excited to make something beautiful knowing it is going to enhance someone's day and lifetime. I really can't think of a more invigorating motivation. The ability to enhance someone's whole world, if even for a moment, is really incredible."
Much like Schentell, Revolve is hoping that these activities bring people together and make a lasting impression on a summer spent inside.
Below, hear from the influencers that attended the event, and felt a sense of community that might not have been possible on a group trip.
"It’s been hard during quarantine to feel creative and find new things to keep me interested," says influencer Ayesha Perry-Iqbal. "Revolve summer has brightened this really hard year by making me feel like summer is still happening. I couldn’t be happier or more grateful."
"Although we aren’t able to travel this year for #revolvesummer, it’s been pretty cool to still be able to connect and participate in activities," explains influencer Tatiana Elizabeth Price. "Throughout quarantine, I've been spending more time actually doing activities that are typically just thoughts. I’ve never made a floral arrangement before and I was super excited to participate in the Song of Style Floral making event. Although we are all staying safe at home, I’m so happy to still be able to connect through activities. I can’t wait to see what everyone else created."
"Even though New York City has started to move into post-quarantine mode, I'm still finding ways to stay creative and entertained at home," shares influencer Coco Bassey. "Being apart of #REVOLVEsummer is the perfect way to stay connected with some of my favorite co-creators and brands, with fun at-home activities that brighten my day."
“#revolvesummer this year has encouraged everyone to make the best of our social-distancing situation," says influencer Vanessa Ariel Torres. "It’s allowed people from all over the world to feel a part of something fun, whether it be the revolve summer ice cream truck giving that extra motivation to treat yourself too or flower arranging with the girls over at Song of Style. Revolve is curating activities for anyone and everyone to tune in to.”
"I am so appreciative of the various unique events and exciting virtual get-togethers that are part of the #revolvesummer campaign," shares influencer Amy Lefevre. "These are a great and fun way to feel connected with a community and to safely enjoy some great summer activities."