Extended interview with Knixwear founder on launching Every Woman is an Angel Campaign
Last month Knixwear founder and CEO Joanna Griffiths was brainstorming ways to raise awareness about body positivity. She decided to take a little jab at the image of the "perfect" woman we always see in commercials or on Instagram. Instead of promoting unrealistic body shapes, she's using the Every Woman is an Angel campaign to highlight the fact that ALL women are beautiful. I wrote about the campaign on my blog and for Metro News.
Here's more from Joanna about the campaign and her Toronto-based brand, Knixwear.
When did you first come up with the idea for the campaign?
About a month ago, we were putting together plans for our first ever pop-up shop and with the pop-up shop came the opportunity to paint the outside of this building. We’ve never done anything like this before. We were trying to think about what was the message we want to communicate and to share. Really what stuck out with the concept is what we stand for as a brand, which is that every woman is worthy—women of all different shapes, sizes, ethnicities, and ages are beautiful. We want to give women the comfort and confidence to do whatever it is that they want.
It started with our tagline “Seriously, every woman is an angel.” If you pick up on it, it’s a bit of a jab at the big behemoth within the industry. They portray one very specific sort of size (as the norm). We started spitballing from there, found this awesome street artist named Kelsey Montague, whose work I’ve seen in Nashville and in other cities around the world. (She painted) the mural in front of the building.
My first pair of wings in Canada are now up in Toronto! This piece was commissioned by the founder of @knixwear. The company was founded on the belief that women live active lives and we deserve comfortable moisture wicking underwear. All of the branding for this company reflects gorgeous, real women, living real lives. I'm grateful to have worked with such an awesome company giving women options in the intimate space. Toronto this mural is all yours!! (located at 128 Peter st) 🦋💪🏼 #whatliftsyou #knixwear
What about the idea behind the runway show?
We really thought how cool would it be to do our first ever fashion show by having women strut their stuff in front of the billboard and pose in front of this awesome mural? That’s all about using social media as a means to lift people up instead of making people feel badly about themselves.
The underlying fact is that a lot of women feel self-conscious about their bodies.
Confidence and drive isn’t something you can buy. It’s something that is fostered and developed from within. The best thing we can do as a brand is support one another and help women feel comfortable and confident.
Why use ordinary women in the show and for the photoshoot?
As a brand, we always use our customers and real women in our photoshoots. We’ve done that since we first launched in 2013. We worked with over 200 women to date and are going to continue to have that be a major part of our brand DNA. I think there are no better group of people than our customers and it’s one our of our core values. It’s going to be ongoing. We’re just starting to think about how it can get even bigger and how we can get more people involved for next year.
It would be amazing to do it still stripped down and raw and all of the components that I think make the video and the whole campaign so authentic—but on a much larger scale where more for take part.
How did the campaign affect the women who took part in it?
The transformations that came out of Monday night (the night of the runway show) are crazy. One woman, named Brie, who kicked off the show—she’s never worn a two-piece bathing suit in public before. She owned it and went out on a such a high note. She ended up rocking a job interview two days later and got her dream job.
I think it’s this amazing thing that happens when you get a group of women together and we empower ourselves to let go and not be who we’re told to be. Just be who we are. That’s a huge personal mission of mine and the more women who can take part in that the better.
Can people still participate?
The wings are going to be up in front of our building for the next three months. It’s there for anyone to go and pose in front of and share what lifts them up.
This is a message that’s so desperately needed right now. It’s important now more than ever that we stand beside one another and encourage one another and we lift one another up. I’m continuously so proud and honoured that all of these amazing women let us work with them and have the trust and faith in us as a brand that we’ll do them justice. Through stepping outside of their comfort zone and whatnot we can inspire women everywhere and it’s a responsibility that we don’t take lightly.