Against the Current: ModCloth's Celeb-Studded Inclusivity Campaign

BY OLIVIA MARRONE

Inclusivity is a hot topic in the fashion industry, and ModCloth just added to the movement.

Prior to its latest campaign, the brand’s attention to inclusivity shows in their sizing, which ranges from a double zero to twenty-eight and plus sizes, as well as their ongoing message of embracing your true self. ModCloth’s short advertisement video called “Against the Current” covers inclusivity from different perspectives with the help from Halsey, Awkwafina, Dascha Polanco, and Hari Nef.

Directed by  Alex Prager, the ad shows each woman sharing how they have overcome personal obstacles and found the inspiration and confidence to be themselves. Each woman is seen facing the elements -- for example, Awkwafina fights her way through a wind storm -- and over each woman’s video footage their voices are heard sharing some thoughts pertaining to their specific topic (each is shared in more detail below).

At the end of each woman’s spotlight, the phrases “Dress against the current” and “Live against the current” appear on the screen, as a message to the viewer to dress and live however they want to. Clothes are an outlet for many people to fully express who they are, and ModCloth has taken that idea and used it not only as the premise of this ad, but also for its mission statement as a brand.

HALSEY: #OwnYourOwn Voice

PHOTO: ModCloth

PHOTO: ModCloth


In her ModCloth video, as she is reading newspaper headlines about her, Halsey gets caught in a rainstorm and falls into a deep puddle. Here she shares how she refuses to be confined to just one genre of music, how she “won’t be just one thing.” Halsey further shares, in an interview with ModCloth for the campaign, her struggle to use her voice growing up, and how writing helped her become who she is today. “If I can teach anyone anything, it would be to be unapologetically yourself, no matter what,” Halsey tells ModCloth, where she also explains that the people who try to knock you down won’t matter later in life.

AWKWAFINA: #OwnYourOwn Uniqueness

PHOTO: ModCloth

PHOTO: ModCloth

Awkwafina’s ModCloth video shows her getting knocked down by the wind with her voice narrating: “My grandma once told me that life is a series of ups and downs. Life is only up or down, and when you’re down you can only go up.” After this, the wind ceases, and she gets up and continues walking with a purpose. In her interview with ModCloth, Awkwafina shares that Margaret Cho, one of her inspirations, showed her “...it’s possible that you could be bold. You could be brash. You could not be something that people want you to be and be loved for it.” This truth that she could do anything is what helped her achieve the success she has today as a rapper and an actress.  

Dascha Polanco: #OwnYourOwn Destiny

PHOTO: ModCloth

PHOTO: ModCloth

In her ModCloth video, Dascha is seen walking down the sidewalk surrounded by people with flames all around her (an example being a man holding a coffee cup that’s on fire). While she is walking, a flaming tree branch falls in front of her and almost catches her dress on fire. As this is happening, she narrates, “Looking back on it, I have to remind myself that: you’re so much more powerful than you even think you are.” Then, the flames disappear and she is able to continue walking confidently. This premise relates to her interview with ModCloth, where she shares how she never thought she could become an actress. In her words, “I just didn’t believe that it was something that could happen…” She shares that this is due to her preconceived thoughts of having to take the usual route of going to college and getting a job (as well as the lack of seeing anyone representing her in the industry). Discussing her tough time balancing school, work, being a teen mom, and taking care of her own sick mother, Dascha has recognized her inner-strength. She is now an actress, musician, body positive “selflovery” advocate, and a proponent of PowHERful, which is “an organization that helps young women prepare for college.”

Hari Nef: #OwnYourOwn Happiness

PHOTO: ModCloth

PHOTO: ModCloth

Hari, in her ModCloth video, walks out of a house and into a backyard, where she digs a large hole. While she is sitting in the hole, her dress breaks, and her voice-over says, “I’m starting to understand that what I have and what’s in front of me is real and important, and something that I deserve.” The actress, writer, and model goes more into depth on this topic in her interview with ModCloth, where she talks about her struggles with “self doubt and comparison.” She also shares how she is overcoming it by stating, “I feel like I am just starting to teach myself how to pull myself out of that process of digging for things you don’t want to find…” Hari explains that opening up to friends and family, as well as focusing on self-love in her campaign quote above, is what helped her truly own her happiness.

Modcloth’s message is rooted in empowering women to fully express themselves and offer support so that everyone can live their best lives possible. What makes this campaign so unique and inclusive is each woman’s message. Each woman’s advertisement represents pieces of their personal life stories: what helped them achieve their successes and be the individuals that we know them as today. By sharing their stories, these women and this campaign can inspire viewers to use their voices, embrace their uniqueness, trust in their destiny, and discover comfort and security in their happiness -- to ultimately find and embrace the confidence within themselves.

Lead Image Credit: ModCloth