On Tuesday, shoe brand Jeffrey Campbell announced it would be launching a campaign and five-piece capsule collection with curve model and body positivity activist La’shaunae Steward. “When we say our shoes are made for everybody we truly mean everyBODY,” the shoe brand captioned a photo of Steward on Instagram. “Stay tuned.”
"I grew up never being able to afford the things I like and for [a brand I’ve] loved since a young teenager to believe in me and to acknowledge me is amazing,” the 21-year-old tells Refinery29 of the collaboration. As for how it all came together: “My great friend Sanam Sindh is the creative director for the brand,” she explains. “I was telling her how a lot of the boots don’t fit thicker legs, and as my friend — who knows how the fashion world doesn’t celebrate fat brown women enough — she saw this as an opportunity for me, an under-appreciated curve model!” This is such an important initiative because, as Steward says, “so many brands never care about their fat customers. Most plus-size stores have the ugliest clothes and wide-fitting shoes.”
The curve model currently boasts 70.6 followers on Instagram and was discovered as a model after being taunted for posting pictures of herself on social media last year. Since then, she's used the platform to build a supportive and body-inclusive support system. It’s her hope that as the fashion industry continues to make strides to becoming more diverse, more women of different sizes will be signed to modeling agencies to break the mold.
“[I want to see] girls who actually look like me in high-fashion and walking the runways,” she says. “Representation is so important. So many models are glamazons who are 5’7 or taller. They have small waists and perfect thighs. [For plus-size models, they're] a size 16 at the biggest. And these are the women 'representing' all fat women. I’m 5’3 and bigger, [and I] also deserve the spotlight!”
Though Jeffrey Campbell is staying tight-lipped when it comes to specific designs and a release date, Steward's Instagram may offer up a few clues as to what the collection might look like (she's been spotted in many-a boots from the shoe brand over the past year or so). Click on to see for yourself.
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