“Every time you would look naked as described in the fashion media, it was always beige. I was waiting for it to change.”
“I knew from a young age that I wanted to work in fashion but I didn’t know how that would happen,” says Chantal Carter, founder of Toronto’s undergarment brand Love & Noods. His mother, raised in Montreal, worked in the apparel industry there and Carter called it “the fashion mecca of Canada”. He says that he gained a young style of television shows, and knowledge of design at an early age.
But anything she says through her fond fashion pandics, and her final stop in style in adulthood, creates a sense of non-belonging in the world she wanted to be a part of a lot.
“Every time you look naked in the fashion media, it’s always beige,” she says. “I was waiting for it to change – every time a new trend was introduced, I thought, would I see something that looked like me? And I was always disappointed.”
Carter’s awareness of the issue was heightened as he observed black and other models of color, who were expected to arrive in a photo shoot wearing a ‘naked’ undergarment — in objects that showed off their skin tone Did not match at all. She added that tensions arose before she arrived for the shoot, adding that in many cases the color model had also historically taken off her makeup to set as they were not convinced that the makeup artist had the right supplies Let them look their best.
The issue of ‘naked’ was not helped by the fact that until five years ago, when a petition for inclusion was made by a college student named Louis Torres, the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of that term included its description. “Skin color of a white person”.
“It was huge for me to find out,” Carter recalls. “You can’t even trust the dictionary! I described anything on the market — camisole, shoes — anything that looked like me, and naked. And I never got anything. “
Carter took her quest to the state-side in an effort to essentially recognize her existence as a consumer – one should never bear it. “I think it was a Canadian problem,” she says. “So, I looked in New York. I swore something would happen. All kinds of people live there, and it is a fashion capital. And I got nothing.
This was the first spark for Carter’s lightbulb moment. “I thought, oh my god, this is one thing. And I realized that if she wanted to, I had to make it myself.” She bought a white bra and pair of panties, and used fabric paint, which made her skin. Matched the tone and created the ‘naked’ effect. She says, “It was very harsh and harsh on my skin, but I didn’t care for it.” “It gave me the look I needed and wanted. Was. “
In further research about this void in the market, Carter says she was stunned to discover that many women of color did not even realize how deeply they felt the notion of ‘naked’ within them. “I’ll ask them, ‘What do you mean naked?” And she describes peaches or tan, ”she says. “In terms of colors, it was always peach-beige because of how it was marketed. And that’s not the whole picture.”
Stating that this was a shining element of systemic racism within the general design lexicon, Carter says it deepened her resolve to correct this widely accepted wrong and in 2015 on Love & Needs Started working. It launched the line in 2017, and it has since attracted attention from Yard + Parish, a brand-focused e-commerce platform owned by Black.
“There were a lot of stops and starts because I didn’t know how I was going to do it even though I worked in fashion,” she notes. “And I wasn’t telling anyone because I felt like I would be ridiculed, or people would discourage me or steal my idea.”
The apprehension shifted as Carter noticed that personal development was underway, and says that listening to something in the podcast was a catalyst to come forward. “It has been said that if you want to do something, you have to find help when there is no answer,” she recalls. “And you have to tell people what you want to do or want to do, so that you can get guidance. It just has to be the right person. “
A friend pointed out that Carter should reach out to another female founder of a lingerie brand who not only directed her to a fashion accelerator program, but also mentioned the caliber of manufacturing happening in South America. After a trade show trip, Carter was associated with a woman-owned factory that still produces its products.
“Many of our bras and panty single moms are paid a fair salary,” says Carter. “She really resonated with me as a single mother. I could feel the good [the team], And I still do. I wanted to work with people who connected with my values, and care about making things better in the world. “
Today, Carter says that he is playing a mentorship role to nurture the inclination within himself as it greatly influences the development of his own brand. “When you help other people, you also learn,” she says, not easy for him to put himself out as a founder and business owner.
“I was asked to be part of a small business panel, and they wanted me to speak about leadership and flexibility,” she said of an opportunity she had recently said. “I wanted to laugh. my ?! You want me to talk about this? You do not even know what is happening in the background. But, I figured, I would step in and be real about my experiences and that would turn out to be good, bad and ugly. I do not have all the answers, but I give what I know. It’s about to happen On The path shows something as you move forward step-by-step, this is a person or information that can help you. You just have to keep going. “
His product offering builds confidence in customers, ultimately seen by a fashion brand, Carter aims to establish a perception of confidence through learning through the Love & Noods blog. It features women with interesting and inspiring stories that run the gamut from sports consultant Tessa Thomas to writer, singer-songwriter and breast cancer survivor, Pastor Patricia Russell.
Demonstrating an incredible cadre of women in the Love and Noods community is of utmost importance to Carter, which indicates how many aspects of business leadership the Black and other women of color represent. “We have such a strong influence in pop culture, yet we are not behind the scenes of anything? There is something wrong here, ”she says. And the idea of working on “generational wealth creation”, especially within black communities, inspires Carter for the future.
While she looks forward to that future, Carter says that the COVID-19 crisis — and its ensuing uncertainty and limitations — has allowed her to gain a different perspective on how to drive her brand; Her mental health has been largely positive. She says, “I was go-go before this, and this time showed me that no, you don’t have to control everything.” “” It allows me to be completely incomplete, and fine with that. I realize that I was trying to be perfect, and trying to be everything to everyone. Now this is so, be the best as soon as I can. I am thankful for this time- it is challenging for a lot of people, but it helped me to change my mind and grow as a person. “