Leomie Anderson Talks Model Activism and the Fashion Industry

What message do you want send with LAPP?

I want LAPP to be seen as a safe space where women are able to express their perspectives and stories. Throughout the media and society, women are often erased or they’re dumbed down or there is negativity thrown at them. You have amazing athletes like Serena Williams being dumbed down to their physique, you have amazing actresses and scientists who are erased and not given the credit that they deserve—I’m so sick of seeing that. When I got a chance to speak to young girls at some schools I asked them, “If you needed advice on something where would you turn?” Most of them said if they didn’t have a sister or cousin that they could speak to then they felt like they didn’t have anyone else to turn to for solid advice. I wanted LAPP to be a space where you could go for inspiration, for advice, for anything basically related to women and only women can write for it. I wanted to create a community and cover women from all over the world to be able to share their stories.

A big part of LAPP is to highlight various body types. How will your collection help with that? Do you have any new clothing lined up?

My next series that I am working on right now is called Nudity. It’s going to be t-shirts that represent different female body shapes, which I am very passionate about. Being a model people assume that I assume my body is the ideal shape, but I don’t believe that there is any ideal shape and I definitely want to represent that in my clothing.

A lot of your clothing is modeled by women who are activists and also women of color. What was your thought process behind this casting decision?

Honestly, I wanted anybody to be able to look at my campaign, go on my website, see LAPP and feel as if they’re represented whether they’re black, white, short, bald, whatever it is I wanted them to feel like it’s a brand open to everyone. Obviously, I am not able to cast every single type of person but my aim is to not pick the conventional model to represent my brand.

Where does social media come into play?

I wanted LAPP to be on strong women who are doing their own thing. I didn’t think about their appearance but more about what they represent as women. I have some amazing girls who are going to be seen in my hoodies in the next few weeks and I am really happy with the selection of girls who I have picked to represent LAPP. I want it to be a brand for everybody. I get so happy when customers send me pictures in the hoodies, because it’s not just about being a girl who has a big social media following. LAPP is for everyone, that’s the whole point of LAPP as well. That person who has 100 followers on Instagram can submit to LAPP, show up on our Instagram feed, and be read by tens and thousands of people. That’s really the essence of LAPP. I feel like in today’s society people feel if they don’t have a big following then there’s no point of even speaking but I am here to tell them that whether you have five followers, five hundred, or five million, your voice matters and that’s what LAPP is really all about.

What are your thoughts on people who say the fashion industry should stay out of politics?

That’s crap, really. At the end of the day anyone who is passionate about something and has something to say should put it out there regardless of their occupation. I know that I have a lot of young women following me and I want to be a role model to them. I want to represent more than just a pretty face and I want to show that I can speak up about issues, that I do have something to say, that I do have more than just my face to put out there. That is really what I am trying to represent. I think that anybody who says that a model shouldn’t get involved in that is really just being a hater. Why should a model only just be a model? We have a big following and it’s really up to us to deicide if we want to be role models to these young women and to speak up on issues.