Smart Glamour’s Brand Philosophy is “Women Forward”

Do clothes make the woman? That’s debatable. But we all have to wear them (unless you live on a nudist colony), and make daily choices about what to put on before leaving the house. When it comes to running errands or going for a run (ahem, walk), I rarely give a F–k. Yes, I’m wearing mismatched socks and an old concert tee and shorts with a hole in them, so? But when it comes to work or going out, I put some time in. Because I like it. I like how fashion gives me a tool to project a state of being to the world, like confidence or power. But how does one do that? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve peered into my closet and thought “I have nothing to wear!” or “Nothing fits!” It can put a damper on the whole confidence thing.

I met Mallorie Carrington, the woman behind the SmartGlamour women’s clothing line, over Twitter and we started a meaningful conversation about fashion and self-esteem. As she says, “The idea is to put the power back in the hands of women – the consumers – and empower them to take control of their clothing; making it fit their bodies instead of striving to have their bodies fit clothing.” Read on and share your thoughts in the comments! We love to talk about it…

Tell us about Smart Glamour – when did you start the line?
SmartGlamour is a clothing line of fashionable, affordable basics that range in size from XXS-3X and beyond. Every piece can additionally be customized via length of sleeve, hem, or inseam, height of waistband, etc – to perfectly fit any body type and become exactly what any woman is looking for in a garment. The idea is to put the power back in the hands of women – the consumers – and empower them to take control of their clothing; making it fit their bodies instead of striving to have their bodies fit clothing. I launched the line in February 2014 – but I conceived of the concept in the fall of 2013, and have had the name in mind since spring 2009.

What is the philosophy behind your line? And do you believe it’s important to have a philosophy as a clothing designer?
The philosophy behind my brand is one that is women forward instead of fashion forward. We want to give women the knowledge and tools to use clothing as a way to accept their bodies and improve their self image. We are trying to change the face of the fashion industry by never using Photoshop on our models or our clothing – and using models of any age, height, weight, race, and/or modeling experience. Any and every woman can be a SmartGlamour model – there are zero restrictions.

To me – it is very important to have a philosophy behind my clothing. It is really the entire reason I have this collection and company. I have always loved fashion – but being a very academically driven person – I needed a real reason to get the collection off the ground. Making women feel better about themselves and their bodies is my #1 priority. Fashion comes second. It is simply the vehicle I am using for social change – and a fun vehicle at that.

How do you feel clothes and fashion promote self-esteem?
I am a complete believer of the idea that putting effort into yourself – and presenting yourself in a positive way – only makes you feel better and that seeps into other areas of your life. When you put your best foot forward – you take yourself more seriously, exude a high level of confidence, and in turn – I believe – the world will reciprocate. I often use the anecdote that if I wore sweatpants and a hoodie all day everyday – I’d just want to take a nap. I wouldn’t feel confident and empowered to seize the day and make the most out of my life. When you are proud of yourself you give off a positive energy – which in turn attracts other positive energies. I also believe that a step in the right direction towards achieving body confidence is having the tools to succeed.

I want women to look at their measurements as simple information – as facts and tools to better know themselves and in turn, take care of and dress themselves properly. We are all born with different body types – challenges and positive features. If we embraced our differences – instead of being insecure as a result of them – we can harness that energy and turn it into confidence. The majority of the fashion and beauty industry currently feeds off of women’s’ insecurities in order to make sales. What if we fed off of, and nurtured their confidence instead?

Do you have quotes from women who tell you how your clothes help them feel good about themselves?
Yes! Here are two recent testimonials, and it’s all about the fit. When your clothes are fitted to your body in a way that accentuates what you love about your body, then you’re not thinking about the size of the garment, you’re thinking about how you’re working the garment.

“For the majority of my life, I thought there was something wrong with my body because I could never find anything that fit me well enough. SmartGlamour turns that thought around. I love wearing my SmartGlamour clothes because they fit me, it’s fashionable, and Mallorie makes these clothes with great care and talent.”

“I love the ease of knowing that my custom made clothes fit well. It saves me time and gives me peace of mind knowing that when I pull a SmartGlamour piece out of my closet it will flatter my shape and make me look fabulous every time.”

How would you describe your own personal style? Has your style evolved? Has it influenced how you feel about yourself?
My own personal style is vintage inspired (1940’s, 50’s, and 70’s) with menswear influences. I like to feel put together, powerful, and always slightly overdressed. You will very rarely catch me in a flat shoe. My style has definitely evolved over the years – from high school where I was constantly experimenting – taking clothes apart and hand sewing them together in different ways – to college where I dressed in very bright colors, mixed prints, and had a slight punk edge to my accessories.

Nowadays – my clothing (even when I’m not wearing SmartGlamour head to toe) is more classic, with vintage inspired silhouettes, and a powerful, strong overall feeling. As I mentioned earlier, the way I put myself together in the morning totally motivates how I feel that day. I tend to overdress because it gives me the positive energy and confidence to go out and conquer whatever daily tasks I might have. I have recently been examining my personal style, my love of menswear inspired womenswear, and my distaste for the ultra, ultra girly. I wonder if lace, ruffles, and frills are really just not my taste – or if my desire to look and feel strong subconsciously keeps me away from things that society deems as “weak” aka feminine. I am hoping it’s the former.

As a female entrepreneur, what tips do you have for others who want to start their own “thing?”
I have three big tips for anyone who wants to start their own business:

  1. Be organized. At the beginning, especially – you will be running the whole shindig yourself and if it fails – it is solely on you. Make sure you know where you are supposed to be and when, and that you get things done in a timely fashion. Be honest with what you can accomplish in a set amount of time – and stick to the deadlines you give yourself.
  2. Set goals and follow through. When I came up with the concept for my brand last fall – I told all of my girlfriends in November that I was launching an entire line, revamping my website to add e-commerce, and throwing a launch event by the end of February. They all told me I was crazy – but I did it – including raising almost $4,000 to fund it all. I gave myself a deadline, told everyone about it so I was held accountable, and made it happen.
  3. Make sure it is something that you love and feel passionate about. This will become your life – and it will be what you have to constantly be thinking about in the back of your mind at all times. If you don’t truly love it – it will feel like work. If you are passionate about it – it never will.

View SmartGlamour’s Spring Runway show from their launch event in February.

Video by Fez Empire with music by Drum&Lace Music

View the collection and learn more about Mallorie and SmartGlamour via these links: