Amber Rose talks about body positivity, new Simply Be collaboration
Rose has linked with the retailer on a capsule of separates aimed to be stylishly versatile and just as inclusive when it comes to sizing, which goes from 6 to 32.
Simply Be is part of Manchester-based N Brown Group plc. The retailer’s portfolio also includes the brands JD Williams and Jacamo with companywide revenue for the year ended in March totaling $1.3 billion.
The move to enlist Rose is part of a broader strategy aligned with Simply Be’s international relaunch.
“Earlier this year, we relaunched the Simply Be brand internationally and made a firm commitment to creating exclusive capsule collections for our customers, with different styles not offered within our core collections,” said N Brown Group vice president Rich Storer. “We chose to collaborate with Amber Rose because she is a style powerhouse who is fantastically unapologetic in lending her voice and influence to both female empowerment and inclusion to all, no matter your age, size, race, sexuality or gender, all of which aligns to our core brand values.”
The collection totals 25 pieces and includes dresses, skirts, leggings, cropped tops and body suits. Rose also curated a collection of existing Simply Be products to go with her collection with the offering retailing from $25 to $40.
“I definitely wanted all solid colors [and] different colors so you could mix and match the whole line,” Rose said. “That was really important and then also that all the clothes definitely had stretch in them. Whether you’re top-heavy or bottom-heavy, it would just kind of form to your body. I wanted this collection to be really simple to dress it up or dress it down by adding a belt or a different color shoe or sunglasses just to make it your own because I love people that are individuals that can make it their own.”
Rose said she became interested in Simply Be when she saw the retailer’s focus on plus sizing, a concept that’s certainly taken hold across the industry and brands that haven’t necessarily expanded their sizes to accommodate all consumers.
“I think that social media definitely helped with that a lot,” Rose said of why the conversation on size inclusivity has taken hold now. “I think before social media, it was just like you have to be skinny to be in the fashion world and it was just the thing. Now women of all different shapes and sizes are very body-positive. It’s giving a lot of girls the normal model sizes a voice and we’re kind of like, ‘Listen, we’re all beautiful in our own way. We want to be able to wear these cool fashions as well. You need to start making them in our sizes.’”
Rose said her hope would be the industry continues to move the conversation forward so it’s no longer something discussed among future generations of consumers.
“I can only hope that one day our children can look back and be like, ‘Wow, fashion lines didn’t make all sizes before. That’s so weird.’ I wish it would get to that point where it’s almost old-school to not have all the sizes,” Rose said. “There’s fashion lines that I can’t fit and I’m a 6-8. There’s times that I can’t even find my size.”
In the meantime, Rose continues to divide her time between a number of projects, including her adult toy line Lelo and the SlutWalk in October.
The fourth annual event in downtown Los Angeles looks to promote conversation around women’s rights and equality. There’s also counseling and legal support provided throughout the year via the nonprofit Amber Rose Foundation. The first walk attracted 2,500 people with the following year drawing 11,000 attendees. Last year brought out more than 20,000 people and Rose said she expects an even larger gathering in the fall.
Rose said she started the annual walk after becoming the victim of ridicule online.
“I really wanted to take a stand against rape culture, victim-blaming and body-shaming. When I started that [walk], everyone said I was crazy,” she said, then gave attendance numbers over the years. “We’re not playing and I use my platform and my voice to really restart this feminist movement and now there’s other really great feminist movements that are out now.”