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Drop the Label Movement Tackles Body Shaming with Encouraging Tees
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A Moment with Flea Style’s Brittany Cobb
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Salvaged Assembly HCC Student Fashion Show

Drop the Label Movement Tackles Body Shaming with Encouraging Tees

Drop the Label Movement, Phoenix based clothing, indie clothing brand

Who you are is more important than the size you wear.” – Drop the Label Movement

Throughout history, women have been put through the wringer. Society has constantly dictated how women should dress, act, eat, think, and be told what the ideal body standards should look like. It is now 2018, and quite frankly, things haven’t changed much. Women are battling eating disorders. Dieting and the so-called “diet culture” run rampant. Fatphobia. Body shaming. Fashion and women’s magazines that are constantly throwing the wrong messages at the adults and children who read them. I could go on…

Phoenix-based indie company, Drop the Label Movement, has decided to help put an end to this nonsense. I had first heard of the brand through Instagram. I then personally met co-founder Angela during the Phoenix Arts Festival last year, and had a chance to check out her line of tees, buttons, pins, and stickers. Some of the merchandise bear quirky messages, such as: ‘I Love You Elote,’ ‘Self-Love Cactus,’ and ‘Anti-Diet Donut,’ and ‘I Love Myself a Latte’; while the tees boast encouraging messages like, ‘Worthy,’ ‘Resilient,’ ‘My Size? Strong,’ ‘Slay Mode’… and so on.

Angela grew up in a family full of strong and powerful women. There were times when she’d notice that they would often say negative things to themselves in the mirror, which, at that time, she thought was normal. It was only normal until she went to college, when she watched her peers’ interaction with the mirror. That’s what began her journey of being more compassionate to herself.

Now, years later, she’s seeing all the pressures of society. Angela explains, “If I feel pressure to meet certain standards, then I can’t even imagine what it’s like for someone in a larger body, or disabled, or someone who’s black. It must be that much more intense. I wanted to do something to help with that. Drop the Label Movement is a small gesture and a little tangible, or at least as a reminder to show yourself compassion, essentially.”

Angela and her mother, Leslie, launched the brand in August 2016. “We took off all the traditional size labels and replaced them with positive affirmations in the form of an ‘I am’ statement. We have two different labeling systems. One is called the ‘OG,’ or ‘original gangster,’ and other one is om-inspired, in reference to yoga. We have just those two scales of sizing with various affirmations that are not related to physical appearance. That was really important to us. We don’t want it to be about any kind of physical. We didn’t want to say ‘I am beautiful’ or ‘I am pretty,’ we wanted internal things. Things that are more important and can do more for the world.”

On the fun designs of the brand… “I enjoy the process of creating. I wanted to put fun designs on the shirts and then also ones that are a little more serious. I came up with ‘Self Love Cactus’ because I’m from Arizona, and so is my mom. So I wondered if there was a cartoon cactus hugging itself with its’ arms, and I haven’t seen one out there… So decided I gotta make it. It just fits with our brand. Then I did ‘Anti-Diet Donut’ because I thought it was appropriate. Who better to be the mascot of no diets than a donut!? Then one of our most popular, ‘I Love Myself Elote’ which is a play on ‘I love myself a lot’ with Mexican street corn.”

Angela leaves us with this, “People can take whatever they want from it {the brand}. I don’t want to tell people that they HAVE to love themselves. That’s a personal and hard journey. I hope they take it as that it’s more of that we’re encouraging compassion…Just to be gentle with yourself in a world that tells you otherwise.”

Be sure to also check out Drop the Label Movement’s ETSY!

Worthy Tee

Drop the Label Movement tee

I Love You Elote tee

Slay Mode tee

My Body, My Standards tee

Resilient tee

Self-Love Cactus Sticker and Button

A Moment with Flea Style’s Brittany Cobb

Brittney Cobb of Flea Style

Flea Style founder- Brittany Cobb (Image Provided by Flea Style)

It has been a few years ago since I had first met Brittany Cobb, and had heard about the Flea Style market brand. It was when they had expanded their market to Houston, and I had the chance to check it out. Three years later, the brand is still going strong, and is expanding! They now have an online shop, and will be opening up a retail space and studio this spring!

I had the chance to have coffee with the former lifestyle editor-turned-entrepreneur one morning, while she was in town for Flea Style Houston. It was interesting getting to know her as not only a cool mom, wife, fellow vintage lover, but also one heck of a girlboss.

She was born in California. Growing up, her interior designer mother and she would go junking, combing through antique malls, looking for unique pieces for clients, and even their home. She would also help her mom decorate and style her booth at an antique mall on some days. She enjoyed that shopping lifestyle, and had that certain ‘eye’ for style and design.

She majored in journalism at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. While there, she noticed that while the city had some incredible malls, that certain shopping lifestyle that she was accustomed to was lacking. After she graduated and went off to New York City, she worked for notable publications, such as: Lucky and Forbes. She was able to dabble back into that familiar shopping experience of going to flea markets on a more regular basis, especially since it was more affordable.

Some years passed, and she moved back to Dallas and worked for Daily Candy. “If I’m going to be in Dallas for awhile, I need to create this thing {shopping experience} if no one else is going to… I have a group of people I can pull together and I think Dallas will respond too. There are people out there that enjoy junking and the thrill of the hunt, but they want it more on a silver platter…More curated and cleaned up for them. I knew that, and made it what I called, a ‘curated flea market.’ I did my first event December 2009. I had started the company in September, and it took four months to pull together. Literally, the weekend before the show, I was laid off; so the timing was perfect. So it became a ‘maybe it shouldn’t be a hobby, maybe it needs to be a way I transition into my career, because I needed to find something for myself.’ When I was laid off, I had this whole new set of eyes on this concept, like ok, this could be my thing. A thousand people showed up {to the flea} and loved it. They were excited to see something like that in Dallas. So I did that for five years, just as a part-time thing, and I just keep building on that momentum. It was called Dallas Flea, and as my life was shifting, so was the flea’s. There were years where I was all about it, and do three or four shows, and then there were years where I was having children, pregnant, or sick, and I had to dwindle it down.” While she was doing the flea, she also started dabbling in interior design as well, and found that it was a natural talent, and something she really enjoyed. But there came a point where she had to choose between the flea or the interior design career, as it was affecting the fact that she wanted to be a good wife, mother and wanted a better work-life balance.

She chose the flea because she knew it had so much more potential. She changed the venue, put more vendors in the mix, and hired a publicist for the first time to get the message out. Once that happened, it just exploded… she went from having 1,000 people in attendance for the first show, to almost 6,000.

“Flea Style is really the child of Dallas Flea. I wanted to take it beyond Dallas, so I launched Flea Style three years ago, on December 1st… It put Houston on the map over the course of six months.” They do four events per year, as well as launched Flea Style Summit, the online shop, and their own label (where vendors will make things under the Flea Style name). “It’s become this creative company that’s all about supporting small business in various facets. But that always comes back to our timeline of handmade, vintage, and one-of-a-kind in the small business community.”

When asked about her favorite vendors… “I have a real soft spot for those that have been with me since day one. I have about fifty that fall into that category. Those that have continued with me (maybe dropping out a couple times to do a wedding or whatnot) because they’ve been with me, they’re the reason I’ve grown. I love working with all of them because I’m just watching their dream unfold in front of our eyes, but really the ones that appreciate what we do. We have birthday parties together… I’ve been to gatherings with them… They’ve become my friends.. even my employees…It’s just really cool doing (this business) authentically, slowly, all the best intentions… We pour our hearts and souls into these events.”

Brittany and her team put on another good Flea Style market in Houston in 2017. See photos below from the event.

Flea Style Houston

Flea Style Houston

Flea Style Houston

Flea Style Houston

Flea Style Houston

Flea Style Houston

Flea Style Houston

Flea Style Houston

Flea Style Houston

Flea Style Houston

Flea Style Houston

Flea Style Houston

Flea Style Houston

Flea Style Houston

 

Salvaged Assembly HCC Student Fashion Show

The fashion design and cosmetology students at Houston Community College once again put on another show that didn’t disappoint. The show was also a competition, which featured judging by local industry professionals such as: Houston Chronicle’s Joy Sewing, designer Claire Drennan, Sarah-Jayne Smith and Ahshia Berry of Magpies and Peacocks, Torcha Walters from Simone’s Hair Gallery, and Naketha Ross from 360 Degrees.

The students competed in four categories: ‘Thrifted Threads,’ ‘Eco-rize,’ ‘Green Lux,’ and ‘Wearable Art.’ I saw garments constructed from potting soil bags, Q-Tips, coupons, newspaper, playing cards, pop tabs, paintbrushes, faux woven hair, holiday garland, denim, door hinges, color sample chips, cardboard, shopping bags, bubble wrap, Ikea bags, and so much more! My favorite garments were: the shopping bag dress with hat and shoes, the Queen of Hearts-inspired dress that was made mostly out of playing cards, a long dress made of holiday garland and featured working lights, a bikini made from Ikea bags, and a 1920s/Flapper- inspired dress made mostly from pop tabs and fabric. Then, the craziest, yet avant-garde outfit I’ve seen in awhile, a bustier with matching pants, strutted down the runway. Upon further glance, I noticed that the bustier and the trim on the pants were constructed from faux woven hair! The model that rocked it was also pretty fierce, so it was no surprise that it stood out in my book.

The cosmetology students also created incredible works of art for the competition. I witnessed one gal wearing Coca-Cola cans as giant rollers, which wouldn’t be complete without a can handbag. I also saw intricate sculptures on the models’ heads that were just brilliant, such as a nautical theme, a clothesline, flowers, and more.

“This year’s show theme, “Salvaged Assembly, Redefining Sustainable Style” came about as our students began thinking of a way to give a different approach to our annual Flash & Trash show. Sustainability is a topic of importance in the world of fashion, and it was important for students to began focusing on the impact that their designs will have on the environment. Garments were created using re-worked clothing and other materials including but not limited to items such as paper, plastic, and wood. The Sustainable Style show features designs from our Ready-to-wear Fashion Design students who are typically just beginning the fashion program at HCC. The show is entirely produced and directed by the Fashion Promotions class, which consists of predominantly Fashion Merchandising majors. Proceeds from ticket sales go toward Fashion Design and Merchandising scholarships and programs,” HCC fashion professor- Andrea Bonner stated.

 

 

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