i remember the first time i saw the spice girls [stay with me here] on mtv [that i was definitely watching without my parents' permission]. apart from their wild, character-distinct styles and british flag mega-platforms, i was so drawn to their self-assured spunk and encouragement of one another. they were my first pop culture experience of i-am-woman-hear-me-roar. their temerity electrified me. i'd like to say that given current events, i am more on fire for women than ever before, but i've been pretty lit for women ever since ginger, baby, posh, crazy, and sporty spiced up my life. basic. blossomed out of the desire to connect awesome women to other awesome women for the good of all awesome women. awesome, right?
one of the things that i enjoy most about owning basic. is the opportunity to interact with many different women from many walks of life. 7115 by szeki [http://7115newyork.com/pages/about-us] is owned by sharp little szeki chan who has an engineering background and a lot of determination. she set the goal of creating staple designs that are both accessible and practical for the working woman (and all the women!), and she is crushing it. [she's also got a sidekick named shirley who i'd like to permanently affix to my own body because she. is. amazing.] jamie frazier and hannah jones of jamie+the jones [http://www.jamieandthejones.com/about/] recognized complementary skill sets in one another and partnered up to foster and encourage the best parts of those differences. the result of that partnership is a brand known for its versatility, craftsmanship, and altogether lovely designs. alex michelle of objects without meaning [https://objectswithoutmeaning.com/the-brand/] is a true artist. she's got this completely understated grace and she channels that into some of the most beautiful silhouettes i've ever seen. all of these women, along with the rest of our brands, have broadened my horizons more than i ever thought possible. i'm truly grateful for the opportunity to work with all of them.
when you start a business in which you have no formal background, the learning curve is steep. getting to know more about our customers has been one of my favorite parts of this process. it's cool to see what styles get the most attention versus what sparks little to no interest. it is interesting which designers resonate with you more than others. i've learned a lot about you, primarily that most of you apparently don't like to wear pants. you go, girls. but seriously, it's been fantastic to interact with your orders, your questions, your criticisms, and your ideas for our buying. all of those things help us to be better for you, so keep them coming. we want to provide access to brands who are making things that promote good and kind and art and happiness in a world that feels so angry sometimes. we want you to flourish in your skin and the garments that adorn it.
all that being said, what you wear is not and never will be who you are. you define you. there is a lot of judgement out there. i can't imagine how petrifying it must be to know that you are following the likes of laura bush and michelle obama all while donning the hat of most looked at woman in the world. it infuriates me [looking at you, fellow democrats] that melania trump is continuously blasted over a photo shoot that she chose to do because she wanted to. is it really that important? who cares that hillary clinton looked elegant AF at the recent inauguration? did i love her outfit and want to cry happy tears over it? yes. does that have anything to do with her value as a human? no. what someone looks like on the outside is very rarely a direct correlation to the inside. that don't-judge-a-book-by-its-cover adage is real.
i think that if we spent as much time encouraging one another as we do criticizing, the likelihood of realizing a potential that we didn't even know existed is certain. we only get one life. do we want to spend it condemning others for things that do not matter? i don't. our differences are what make the world go round, and they are exquisite. inspire. strengthen. love. applaud. support. foster. embolden. these are the things we should be doing for our fellow humans. my biggest hope is that basic. will be a platform for celebrating women of all colors, of all sizes, of all ethnicities, of all backgrounds, of all religions. girl power, y'all.
in uncertain times, fear is almost tangible. and i hate being scared. but then i think about all of the extraordinary women [including you!] who have so profoundly influenced my life, and my fears dissolve. i am a better person because of the support i feel from my people, and i aim to pay that forward. at the end of the day, clothes may not be important, but the women designing them and wearing them are. i am more confident than ever that the future is definitely female, mainly because you are a part of it. keep doing you, sister.