Body Positivity: Plus-size model Luhshawnay lands Universal Standard campaign

Plus-size model Luhshawnay lands Universal Standard campaign

After creating a capsule collection with Jeremy Scott, Luhshawnay returns in new campaign to show that every body matters.

Plus-size model and influencer Luhshawnay has amassed quite the following on Instagram for embracing her size and showing that every body matters. Now, the Luhshawnay lands coveted Universal Standard campaign.

Luhshawnay‘s first coup was landing a capsule collection with renowned shoe designer, Jeremy Scott. The influencer got the opportunity to create a range of shoes that would properly fit larger ladies from the ankle to the calves. It was a step in the right direction for brands understanding that plus-size women have different needs when it comes to fashion and footwear.

Her latest achievement is landing a campaign with free-size fashion label, Universal Standard. Luhshawnay is pictures wearing a white vest, white briefs and a pair of sparkling white socks. The picture is barely retouched and created to show the model in all her glory.

Writing about the shoot with Universal Standard, Luhshawnay said:

a shoot that was so special and important to me. being a model that people constantly look over or being a curve model that isnt conventionally attractive or “fat in all the right places” and always finding myself only posting angles i felt were more appealing. this angle shows everything i fought being insecure about and shows every part of me that people told me would have to be smaller in order to be accepted. this is also the most powerful photo i have ever seen of myself and i couldnt be more proud. thank you @universalstandard and @ronanksm for capturing this moment ❤️

 

What makes Universal Standard so different is their commitment to free sizing. The brand ranges from as a size 6-32 and does not believe in separating their garments into categories. Started by Polina and Alex, the duo have always been upfront about why Universal Standard means so much to them. In their brand story, they wrote:

Universal Standard started with the two of us, but we actually wanted to do it for all of us. We lived in a world in which access was limited. We couldn’t shop together; one of us could hardly shop at all. It felt unfair, but moreover, it made no sense. If 67% of women in the U.S. wear a size 14 or above, why were their options so dismal? It was clear that all women weren’t given the same level of style, quality, or even respect.

We asked ourselves the whys, and then we asked ourselves the hows. How can we participate in the change we wanted to see? How can we bring all women together in a way that no one ever has before? We wanted a size 26 to shop in the same way as a size 6 – using style as her only filter, and we wanted to be the ones to make that happen. Our goals were lofty; some may say idealistic, some may even say impossible. But we’d have to disagree.

When we finally decided to take the plunge – leave our jobs, uproot our lives – we promised each other we wouldn’t go back on our goal to break down existing barriers and give all women fashion freedom. We put “Universal Standard” on a whiteboard and have worked to define that ever since.

We thought about how a number on a label had so much influence on our lives and triggered internal bullies that told us we’re not worth it, so we took size out of the equation with Fit Liberty and let you shop without anxiety, fear, or regret. We decided that we wouldn’t compromise on quality, that our obsession with fit was justified, and that modern essentials would be our style uniform. We wanted to innovate, to push ourselves, and set new standards.

We’re not done – not even close – and we promise we won’t stop until we bring fashion for all women up to a Universal Standard.

Shoe brand to collaborate on capsule collection with plus size model Luhshawnay

More and more brands are seeing the value in inclusivity. They are understanding that their customer base is more varied than initially recognised and making steps to bring the marginalised into the fold. Body positivity advocate and curve model La’Shaunae Steward, popularly known is Luhshawnay, has now been selected to collaborate on with American shoe brand Jeffrey Campbell.

In their caption on Instagram, Jeffrey Campbell wrote:

We are so incredibly happy to announce that in a few weeks, we will be launching our campaign and capsule collection with one of our favorite people, @luhshawnay. 5 shoes made to fit your every curve. When we say our shoes are made for everybody we truly mean everyBODY. Stay tuned. Pictured here: @luhshawnay wearing JC for @girlboss

 

In an accompanying interview with Girlboss, they wrote:

La’Shaunae Steward is on a mission to disrupt the status quo in the modelling industry. Here’s the bedtime routine that gives her the energy and mental clarity to do it.

If you haven’t heard of La’Shaunae Steward, it’s only a matter of time. The 21-year-old model hails from Charleston, South Carolina and made headlines on the internet last year when some desperate trolls turned a photo that Steward posted of herself on Instagram into a cruel meme.

It ended up going viral, but for all the right reasons: Decent people of the internet, including model Reece King, shut the trolls down swiftly, flipping the criticism back on them and showering Steward with support for her impeccable style.

Now, Steward has her sights set on becoming the next star of the plus-size modeling industry and there’s nothing desperate man-babies can do about it. In the short time since the incident went viral, she’s become an Instagram presence to be reckoned with, garnering a devoted following of nearly 70K. Her account is populated by photos of Steward in her superbly curated vintage wardrobe, accompanied by pithy, poignant captions addressing issues of sizeism, bullying, confidence, and mental health.

“Growing up as a fat black girl, there wasn’t anyone I really thought was a representation of how I look,” she says, “and even with the plus-size models [in the industry today], they’re all usually taller than 5’7’’ and probably a size 16 or smaller.”

Stewart has made it her mission to be an inspiring, boundary-pushing presence disrupting the status quo. “I just want to show girls that they can do it. A lot of [girls my size] want to be models, and they’re constantly told they’re too fat or they’re too short. But I’m not going to give up, because it’s something I have to do. I have to do it,” she says.

With her growing social media influence, Steward is well positioned to make herself seen, and her first big break has already arrived: In the late spring of this year, Steward will be featured in a campaign with Jefferey Campbell, promoting a collection of plus-size thigh-high boots. 

“I’ve loved Jeffrey Campbell since I was in middle school,” she enthuses, “but I never could afford his shoes, so I’m really excited.” 

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