Isabella and Benson
Markovina Vineyard Estate, Auckland, NZ
Isabella is a proud NZ born Sāmoan model and opera singer living in London who…Read More
Hi Katie, you have a new campaign ‘Celebrating You’ – what is it all about?
Celebrating You is the sole expression of who Hera Couture and Daisy Brides are, what we believe in and the values we hold dear as a company.
My biggest dream is to nurture a culture where every woman feels validated and like she has a worthy position in this world – because ultimately, as humans, we’re all the same, and we should all be afforded the same opportunities in life without bias. Of course the world has a way-to-go in achieving this, but I have the ability to use my public platforms to encourage these values of acceptance and inclusivity for women.
Why is inclusivity important?
Because everyone is entitled to love and to be loved, so why does it matter what we look like, where we come from or what size dress we fit into! And because all women should feel listened to and important on a day to day basis.
How will a campaign like this make a difference?
By challenging preconceptions of what the ideal is, Hera and Daisy want to open up the possibilities available to women and reflect the true range of beauty.
In real life, we’re not all models. The majority of women are larger than a size six and from all kinds of backgrounds. That’s why it’s vital to me that women can see themselves represented in the media and feel like it’s OK to be more than simply a narrow stereotype. By informing our audience publicly about who we are and what we stand for, we hope to foster less discrimination, less criticism and inform women that they are worthy of feeling beautiful.
How is inclusivity reflected in your designs and work?
My collections include intentional designs that incorporate features unique to the whole range of body shapes, and gowns come in colour variations for different skin tones. I also make sure that I design for individual style preferences. Fashion is how you represent yourself and what you wear reflects your personality – looking fabulous shouldn’t be restricted to a certain type of woman.
Has the representation of women in advertising and the media changed since you first started designing?
Absolutely. More and more models in the books of international modelling agencies are from varied backgrounds, with different skins tones, quirky looks, and a variety of body shapes – models who are not typically seen. This allows designers like Hera and Daisy to choose women who more accurately represent our brands. This type of selection is still insufficient in NZ however, and it is trickier here to find unique faces, but I’m sure agencies will grow in diversity as the market demands it.
It was a big shoot! Who are the models and why did you want to work with them?
The models are from Red 11 Model Management and Unique Models and we even have a few of Hera Couture’s team members in the shoot! Each were chosen because they represent the world we live in; different nationalities, different backgrounds, different shapes and sizes, all beautiful and confident in their own ways.
Talking throughout the day we discovered our differences and commonalities, and that’s what I love.
With girls from Asia, Europe, Africa, America and Australia (and NZ!), and ranging from size 8 to size 16, tall and short, Celebrate You is an amazing reflection of the true scope of femininity. And apart from all the girls obviously being beautiful, we were also overwhelmed with our models interesting personal stories. From studying marine biology, to costume designing, a ball room dancing star, and an opera singer, we related to one another experiences through the highs and lows of life.
How did the shoot itself go? That’s a lot of people on set!
Haha – it went very well actually! It took awhile to co-ordinate everyone’s availability and months of planning but we have a fabulous internal team, super easy going models (which makes all the difference!), and amazing vendors. Our makeup artist and hair stylist (@eleanordornmakeup) and photographer and videographer (@theiverystudio) are simply brilliant. It’s a dream to work with everyone, I’m one lucky woman!
What message would you like woman to take from this campaign?
Don’t feel like you have to change in order to submit to a preconceived ideal of what the perfect woman is.
It’s all the little idiosyncrasies which makes you, you. No-one else is exactly the same.