ZVELLE x Global Citizen: A #SuCollective Campaign
As part of our mission to empower women in all stages of professional life, our next collaboration with the consultancy arm of Su La Po is proudly with Canadian label Zvelle. Worn by young professionals and first ladies alike, the shoes created here are more than just fashion; they are unique objects of design and empowerment. Nominated by the Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards for accessories designer of the year, it is a true pleasure to step into 2018 with such an inspiring group of women. Meet Zvelle Global Citizen.
Meet Chantelle Blagrove, in the Rayna heel.
A writer whose words unite women through her timely tales of human experience, Chantelle exudes #ZvelleGlobalCitizen from her pores. “I feel as though I am a part of something that is bigger than me, bigger than my writing,” she says. “It is an incredible time to be a woman, with a voice, to mobilize conversation and change. I not only look in the mirror and identify with what I am taught to see, but I feel like I am connected to something that has been paved for centuries before and centuries to come.”
Zvelle is a brand unlike any other. This is our first project together, but certainly not our last.
I first met Elle (Zvelle’s fearless founder) one year ago in Toronto. Over coffee, we bonded instantly; not only for our love of the industry, but for our passion to make design more inclusive and for all women see themselves in the crux of our work. Given my experiences as a model, it’s become my mission to make women feel represented in all phases of life, and to feel empowered in defining themselves in any way they so choose. Elle saw this determination in me and embraced it wholeheartedly. From the beginning, she has supported my work under Su La Po - it is this kind of mentorship that pushes the dial forward.
Meet Natalie Helsen, wearing the Rayna slingback.
A coordinator at Antwerp-based newspaper DeMorgen, she is an intellectual force, connecting people through her telling of smart, sharp and unifying stories. “I try to see and learn as much as I can,” she says. “My job is very helpful in that: it gives me the possibility to dive into subjects much deeper than what usually is possible. It gives looks behind the scenes, explains what usually stays unsaid. Perfect for my curious nature.”
Two months ago, Elle approached me with a concept - to take Zvelle’s signature Rayna design and peel back the layers, sharing its essence by coupling the shoes with women who embody them best. We’ve called the project “Global Citizen,” which reflects Elle’s personal journey living in Dubai, Australia, Iran, New Zealand and Canada. Like both Elle and myself, each of these women defines themselves as global citizens, revealing this in the diversity of their achievements, attitudes and ideals.
I played tribute to Zvelle’s global community by travelling to Antwerp, Toronto and New York City, pairing innovative, unapologetic women with local photographers who also deserve to be celebrated. Writers, Environmentalists, Dancers and Activists all joined together to wear the Rayna; a shoe that’s toe bares the symbol for the Persian number five. To me, it also looks like an upside-down heart, which is particularly suiting. Five women, Five cities, Five loving perspectives that are all changing the world.
Meet Kenzie Brenna, in the Rayna flat.
An actress and force in the movement for self-confidence, Brenna uses her platform to lift up those she meets by highlighting stories of marginalized communities, celebrating diversity and informing individuals on the “bigger picture” of our being through neuroscience and psychology. "To me a global citizen is someone who thinks beyond borders,” she says. “It requires the bigger picture, to think beyond our social circles. I consider myself a global citizen because of our interconnectedness, shared molecules and shared land.”
I hope you take a moment to see yourself in these images; to see yourself in their shoes. I wanted each photographer to capture each woman independently of the others, and kept each shoot confidential until today. It was difficult to stay true to my word, as each photo session left me bursting with gratitude, excitement and joy - but curiosity and the philosophical principle of "what if" kept me focused. It’s clear we all share a common thread of strength, purpose and undeniable beauty, regardless of which lens we’re seen through.
Meet Zoë, wearing the signature Rayna flat.
A modern dancer, political science buff and model advocating for representation in the fashion industry, she is certainly a #ZvelleGlobalCitizen. “I believe that change comes from listening and having difficult discussions with people who have different stories and point of views,” she says. “A global citizen is someone who has a basic understanding of the interconnectedness of the world and also sees value in diversity."
For the direction of this project, we felt it important to show each woman as they were. I used affordable, accessible, cruelty-free makeup, and wanted each look to be effortless, something that each of us could attain. On Zoë and Kenzie I used Glossier, Nudestix and Tom Ford, gliding a bit of boy brow here, a tad of highlighter there. Never contouring, covering or manipulating their beauty, these women shine on their own beautiful accord.
Meet Nicole Fasolino; A lover, mother, and advocate for our earth.
Through her work as an art director and fashion stylist, Nicole integrates teachings from her travels into her advocacy for environmentally-friendly design. She’s as much of a #ZvelleGlobalCitizen as the sky is blue - encouraging each of us to connect through our love for each other, our planet, our skies. “The time is now,” says Nicole. “Let’s rise.”
To all of our global citizens, may you wear your Zvelle’s well. It was a pleasure to create yet another #SuCollective project with this ever-growing, empowering Canadian brand.