Throughout history, there have been countless beauty and fashion trends; and we’ve embraced them with open arms! From polka dots, to mohawks, to ripped clothes (one of the most recent misunderstood and mocked trends), we’re always modeling ourselves according to what the fashion industry tells us is the ‘in thing’.
Over the last couple of decades, however, beauty and fashion took a turn towards only embracing the slenderer folk. As much as some of us might want to be able to fit into a pair of pants two or three sizes smaller than what we currently fit into, not all of us are able to achieve that. Perhaps we might not even want to fit into the clothes that society dictates we should wear because the gender people see on the outside might not be the gender one identifies with on the inside…
But, there is a Cape Town-based fashion company that has made it their mission to break the mold. Everyone who visits their showroom or purchases an item of clothing from their website is made to feel nothing but welcome and accepted.
Robyn Keyser, founder and creative director of Artclub & Friends explains that during her time owning a fashion company, she came to realise that many people have had negative experiences when they’ve gone out shopping. Either their size was not available in the store they wanted to shop at, or they didn’t identify with the clothing assigned to their gender.
She explains, “As designers we have a huge responsibility in terms of the power we are given to change the way people perceive themselves. Your body is your canvas, your vessel. It’s not an easy journey coming to truly appreciate the gift that is your body, but Artclub and Friends can play a small role in your journey to getting there.”
Thanks to their ‘Perfect Size Chart’, all their clothing is labeled as ‘perfectly small’, ‘perfectly large’, ‘perfectly extra-large’, etc. Their clothing is also completely gender neutral, allowing any person of any size to indulge in fashion (as one should!), without feeling compartmentalized by their stature or identifying gender. Robyn says, “There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the smile on someone’s face when I ask them which size they are and they reply, I’m a perfectly extra-large, thank you”.
We should all be able to express ourselves through fashion without inhibition. How we dress and carry ourselves is often characterised as an extension of who we are as people and what message we want to portray to the world. So why not make 100% sure we feel like a million bucks when we step out the door?
Fashion is an all-inclusive experience and shouldn’t favour a certain age group, race, size or gender. Robyn and her brand are just one step closer to making fashion the all-inclusive experience it should be!
Dean Friederich – Weekdays 10pm – 12am Anchor, Smile 90.4FM