For Women’s History Month, R29Unbothered is spotlighting Shanée Benjamin, a Black design director and illustrator whose work you may be familiar with. In 2019, she collaborated with us to create Black women empowerment gifs. And this month, Benjamin got the opportunity to bring her art to life like never before in a collaboration with TomboyX, a gender and size inclusive brand that supplies comfortable underwear for anyone — no matter how they identify themselves. It’s her first-ever clothing brand collaboration, and one she’s very excited about.
“TomboyX followed me on Instagram and reached out to me about creating a print for Women’s History Month and I said definitely!” Benjamin shares with R29Unbothered. “Prior to starting the collaboration, I purchased underwear from them and I really loved how they felt and how inclusive the brand is.”
What immediately caught our attention was the diversity represented in Benjamin's illustrations. It’s clear her design represents what TomboyX stands for: women in all shapes, sizes and complexions, with no illustration looking the same. The best part? Benjamin’s work is on eight different undergarments, including three styles of bras and five styles of underwear. They look comfortable and perfect to lounge in, especially while many people work from home or socially distance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“My inspiration comes from what I see everyday," Benjamin says. "I live in Brooklyn, I’m a queer woman, I love how diverse it is out there, and I want to see more of that out there so I create it.”
“My main goal was to be as inclusive as possible, playing around with abstraction of womanhood, showing the uniqueness and beauty in all of us. It's really important for women to feel seen.”
It’s empowering to see a brand like TomboyX advocate for marginalized women and give such an amazing opportunity to a Black, queer woman who aligns with their brand.
“We are thrilled to have collaborated with the amazing artist, Shanée Benjamin, on our Womxn print,” Fran Dunaway, CEO and co-founder of TomboyX, tells R29Unbothered. “Her talent brought to life the spirit of what we hoped to capture, and to celebrate the diversity of experiences that connect us on a basic human level.”
We hope to see more of Benjamin's work on clothing in the future.