Victoria's Secret models Imaan Hammam, Gigi Hadid and Jasmine Tookes walked the runway for the Spring/Summer 2016 Tommy Hilfiger collection. The reggae influenced style of this fun collection features vibrant colors and patterns on the crochet swimsuits, jewelry, knit caps and various other dainty, ethnic summer fashion pieces. Tommy Hilfiger SS 2016 Womenswear :: New York Fashion Week

07 May 2017

Joan Smalls for Smart & Sexy Swimwear

Collectively as women, we find it difficult to agree with what exactly exemplifies feminisim. Some people actually shy away from using the term 'feminist' or 'feminism' because it personally means different things to different women.

The current Swim Secret 2017 summer campaign by lingerie retailer Smart & Sexy features mega-model Joan Smalls. I can't help but to associate this campaign with modern-day feminisim. First of all, the owner of Smart & Sexy, Ariela Banks (CEO and President of Ariela and Associates), is a woman which is a rarity in itself. Second of all, the summer campaign was launched on March 13, 2017, in collaboration with ACDN (Alliance of Career Development Nonprofits) sharing in a social commitment to educate and celebrate working women. Thirdly, selecting a black female to front the swimwear campaign promoting beauty diversity is even more of a rarity.

Yes, black models have truly made strides in the fashion industry. However, there is still some additional room for more equal exposure and representation. [sigh] We can never seem to get the racial and cultural balance in the world of fashion right which is also exemplary of other industries. In today's modern world, I just can't think of any swimwear line that is currently highlighting a black model as the sole face of the campaign. History is being made here and for more than one reason!

Not only is the spirit and motivation just perfect for elevating the fashion industry to knew heights, but it also emboldens women entrepreneurs and uplifts black female models by breaking down barriers specifically in the swimwear sector of fashion. Just looking at the success of Black females who participated in this past Olympics in Rio in the swimming and diving competitions, we clearly see a current frenzy around the topic of Black women and water sports as well as an increase in participation as well as representation.

Joan Smalls, once again ... landing an advertising campaign that sizzles!

RELATED :: 2015 VS Swim Special: Joan Smalls - Behind the Scenes (1)

:: you're still in my head forever stuck ::

Behind the scenes:

On another note, it does seem a little bit like Smart & Sexy is competing with the brand Victoria's Secret (yes, the Swim Secret line in particular just by the mere name of it). Recently and rather abruptly, Victoria's Secret has taken a step back from swimwear this season. Rumors that originally circulated online about Victoria's Secret's plan to get rid of the swimwear collection altogether in 2017 have come true. This opens up the marketplace for other swimwear retailers to grab some additional customers.

Reportedly, the decline in swimwear sales for this lingerie brand combined with a strong increase in interest in activewear lead to Victoria's Secret's decision. You can still currently buy some swimwear from Victoria's Secret but there will no longer be a push for a televised swim special or additional products added to the line. The navigation bar on the Victoria's Secret website even has removed the "VS Swim" category forcing you to do a search on the keyword "swim" just to see what is in stock. Interestingly enough, my "swim" searches on their site either lead me to VS Pink Swim or VSX Activewear. Does that mean the regular VS Swim is actually GONE?

Personally, I do not buy many swimwear items, but I buy tons and tons of activewear for working out and leisure wear. The sturdiness of the Victoria's Secret sports bra is superb and has proven to be multi-functional. I don't swim much but for those swimmers out there who have special aquatic needs you might just want to take a look at the Smart & Sexy brand. Seems as if this New York based retailer is picking up where VS Swim has left off!! There are many women who wear swimwear to the beach, in the jacuzzi, for aquatic sport and some for the exotic appeal of these pieces. There is money to be made in swimwear and now is a fabulous time to get a slice of the pie.

Smart & Sexy has stepped up there game at a fabulous moment in the industry ... a smart business strategy for sure! And to land Joan Smalls, the Puerto Rican Victoria's Secret goddess. Yes, a sensastional victory indeed. Clever catch for Smart & Sexy!

Someone please tell me "why is she not a VS angel yet?"

RELATED :: 2015 VS Swim Special: Joan Smalls - Behind the Scenes (1)

:: me?  I'm dodging raindrops ::

29 April 2017

Harper's Bazaar (GER) NOV 2016: Joan Smalls

Joan Smalls is featured in a fabulous editorial for Harper's Bazaar Germany, Shades of Beige. For it's November 2016 issue, she is featured on the cover photographed by Marcus Ohlsson and styled by Kerstin Schneider. She has a relaxed, comfortable look. Her beautiful, smooth skin and slim physique is showcased nicely. The shoot is clean and uncluttered as well as the clothing that she wears. Sometimes simple just looks so regal and classy.

As an added bonus, another Victoria's Secret model, Gigi Hadid, is also featured inside in an article discussing her dynamic relationship with Tommy Hillfiger as his model of choice. This hot topic article first appeared in the USA issue of Harper's Bazaar from October 2016 and is truly deserving of reprint for the Germany publication. The fresh relationship developed between Tommy Hillfiger the brand Tommy Hilfiger the designer and Gigi Hadid is simply fascinating.

Legendary Victoria's Secret model Gisele Bundchen is also featured in an editorial. This magazine's NOV 2016 issue just oozes with appeal and cleverness. Yes, three Victoria's Secret models in separate non-related editorials. Hmmm.

As a blogger, it is truly time for me to start paying more attention to Harper's Bazaar. I have written about editorials from the magazine before (featuring Chanel Iman and Alessandra Ambrosio). However, this particular cover featuring Joan Smalls just has left a lasting impression upon me. There is just something so right about it ... a representation that I suppose I just do not see often enough.

Smart. Clean. Elegant. Classy.

Joan Smalls :: Harper's Bazaar A(1)

Joan Smalls :: Harper's Bazaar A(2)

Joan Smalls :: Harper's Bazaar A(3)

26 March 2017

Tommy Hilfiger SS 2016: Imaan Hammam

I know that Tommy HIlfiger has already rolled out his SS 2017 Collection and I am still blogging about the SS 2016 Collection. Well, most of the clothes ordinary people wear are not exactly current season anyways. Besides not only am I behind on my blogging efforts but I also am still fascinated by the ethnic swimwear, jewelry and accessories from the SS 2016 collection. I have yet to add a true jamaica-inspired macrame piece to my personal wardrobe.

Not only does Gigi Hadid and Jasmine Tookes stand out on the runway, but also does fellow Victoria's Secret model Imaan Hammam. She has a gorgeous, natural mane of hair and wears this particular look very well in both the swimsuit and the kaftan.