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HomeNEWSNew Zealand fashion icons shine in Levi’s female empowerment campaign

New Zealand fashion icons shine in Levi’s female empowerment campaign

The Levi’s IShapeMyWorld campaign that launched on International Women’s Day earlier this year, was a global initiative dedicated to spotlighting the accomplishments of women around the world. Highlighting the strength and fearlessness of those shaping the world around them, the campaign was an ultimate appreciation of female power.

Personifying Levi’s core values, the concept of the campaign surrounded ‘using your voice’ to drive positive change. New Zealand participants included renowned designer Karen Walker, fashion entrepreneur Grace Stratton, and Fashion Quarterly editor Sally Ann-Mullin, three powerful females in the fashion industry.

Karen Walker – Fashion Designer, using bravery and a sense of purpose to shape the world around her, embodied in the symbol of the Runaway Girl.

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@karenwalker uses bravery and a sense of purpose to shape the world around her. . “She’s called Runaway Girl but that’s a misnomer. She’s not running away, she’s marching to, so I guess she should actually be called Marching Girl but that’s clunky and anyway, the trademarking’s all in place under Runaway, and the vernacular too, so I guess we just have to keep her name how it is. She’s not running away because, well, just look at her…she’s intent, brave and steadfast and just getting on with it. I think it’s this attitude, that’s so clear in her gait and the way she holds her head, that draws people to her, that makes her an icon, that makes her someone people want to wear around their necks and on their chests and even get tattooed on their skin. I’ve had many people tell me why they’re drawn to her and it’s always something along the line of that they like her bravery and her sense of purpose and that those are things they see or strive for in themselves. She’s best known, of course, with her stick and bindle but, of late, she’s also been banging her drum and flying her flag. It’s still the same attitude though – one of purpose and strength and élan. I was there the day our creative director, my husband Mikhail, drew her. It was effortless and fluid and she was born fully formed in less than an hour. She’s one of his greatest gifts to me in a career, and a marriage, of many gifts. I’m proud to have marched alongside her all this time. I’m proud that she’s inspired her community in her own small way. And, I’m sure she’ll continue her brave, intrepid, independent march for many years to come.” – Karen . #IShapeMyWorld is a global initiative dedicated to bringing recognition to the accomplishments of women everywhere. . 📸: @snapperonline

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Grace Stratton – All is for All Founder and Director, shaping her world by making it more accessible and disability inclusive.

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Grace Stratton of @allisforall is shaping her world, by making it more accessible and disability inclusive. . “People think that disabled people have a ceiling placed over their achievements, because of their impairments. This is not entirely the case. The ceiling disabled people experience, the constant barriers we face, are often the result of the way society and social structures have been designed; they are inaccessible, as a young woman I quickly learnt that the world wasn’t designed with me in mind and growing up and not seeing people who looked like me, implicitly taught me to minimise my disability – and resent my impairments and my body. But I deserve to be proud of my disability and my body; my community deserves to break through ceilings pressed upon them by inaccessibility, because they are vibrant, dynamic contributors – who deserve as much space as their able-bodied counterparts. This belief is at the core of All is for All, the accessible media, communications and talent agency I started with Ange Bevan almost one year ago. We are focused on delivering high impact, accessible results that change the world, break through ceilings and empower the reinvention of inaccessible social structures and understandings. All is for All has facilitated a range of disabled people into opportunities as models, speakers, influencers and leaders. We sent six models to New Zealand Fashion Week in 2019 and are going from strength to strength. I use my voice to make space for people in my community to succeed, flourish and be proud of their impairments. At All is for All we do not speak for people, rather, we enable and provide opportunities for people to speak for themselves. I hope that my work creates a culture of accessibility and people feel like they can be proud of their disabled bodies – even if the world doesn’t give us permission to be, we can give ourselves permission.” – Grace . #IShapeMyWorld is a global initiative dedicated to bringing recognition to the accomplishments of women everywhere. . 📸: @snapperonline

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Sally-Ann Mullin – Fashion Editor/Curator, shaping the world around her by proving where you come from doesn’t define where you’re going.

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@sallyannmullin is shaping the world around her by proving where you come from doesn’t define where you’re going. . “I grew up in Rahotu – population 200 – in Coastal Taranaki, New Zealand. My rural surroundings were about as far from the fashion industry you can imagine, but somewhere amongst the Redbands and Swandris of my dairy farming village I developed a deep love for colour, shape and texture. I became intrigued with how we can impact the way the world sees us with as little as the clothes we wear, the makeup we choose, a fascination with creating character through appearance that eventually turned into a career. I spent 12 years working in the film industry in costume and makeup departments both here and in the UK before moving into working in fashion media. It was a change that meant initially I found it hard to trust my talent and intuition; a kid from the sticks that didn’t arrive in the industry via the traditional education or trajectory. It took time to believe that my voice was wanted, to have confidence that my decisions could be impactful, inspiring, influential even. I’ve now spent nearly a decade with a platform allowing me to speak to kiwi women about the things that excite me the most. It’s a privilege I will never take for granted. I try and share inclusive and uplifting messages and the passionate belief fashion is for all of us, not just the cool kids. From an early age I remember my mother teaching me how groovy it is to be kind in our thoughts and actions. Kind to others, kind to the world and kind to yourself. I’ve been so lucky to grow alongside her constant demonstration of this belief and eventually her mantra became mine, it’s really the only thing I have consistently kept with me as I’ve evolved from childhood to adulthood. I try and think about it every time I use my voice in the world; be that talking with a stranger or talking to my audience via the media brands that I’m lucky to work with. Repeating the cycle of life, now I get to raise a son and teach him how groovy it is be kind. There’s really nothing more important.” – Sally-Ann . #IShapeMyWorld . 📸 @snapperonline

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Initially designed exclusively for Karen Walker, for her contribution to the campaign, the Levi’s x Karen Walker Runaway Trucker Jacket features the Karen Walker icon, Runaway Girl, a symbol of adventure and female empowerment.

“I’m proud to have marched alongside her all this time. I’m proud that she’s inspired her community in her own small way. And, I’m sure she’ll continue her brave, intrepid, independent march for many years to come,” says Walker.

Limited numbers of the Levi’s x Karen Walker Runaway Trucker Jacket are available at karenwalker.com, as well as Playpark Newmarket and Wellington.

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