Nordstrom.com: Often a celebrity’s image can become so common as to lose any significance. Such has been the case with many stars who also enjoy a robust media presence. Sad Drake became a meme that almost replaced the brash hip-hop artist. Miley Cyrus’s tongue-wagging performance at MTV’s Video Music Awards cast her as the poster girl for kookiness, displacing the honey-voiced singer’s talent. And then there are the Kardashians, a family of reality television stars whose excessive presence on traditional and social media has rendered them almost vacant representations of fame. What do the host of them do? What does their celebrity mean or—at the root of the word—actually celebrate?
Khloé Kardashian has always been one of the more outspoken members of the Kardashian klan. On many episodes of their show (Keeping Up with the Kardashians for anyone who has been sequestered from screens for the last nine years), Khloé’s opinions propel the drama. With the advent of her new denim line, Good American, however, we may finally be learning what the celebrity stands for: body inclusivity and confidence.
We spoke with her and her cofounder and friend Emma Grede about their collection, which comes in sizes 0 to 24, how social media is changing body ideals, Rihanna as a denim icon and Instagram blocking.
Khloé Kardashian: I’ve always thought there’s been something missing from the denim industry. Whenever I buy new jeans it’s hard for me to find a pair that fits my body type, and even when I do, I always need alterations. I knew if I’ve had this problem, there must be tons of other girls who do too.
Emma Grede: We started Good American because we want women’s shopping experiences to embrace the new body ideal. It’s just crazy that we still have plus sizes and are splitting up friends who go shopping together into different departments based on their size.
What does Good American do differently? Tell us about the contour waistband, denim pattern, stitching.
EG: Everything we do will flatter and enhance your shape. The contour waistband acts like a self-belt, and there’s stretch in the waistband so the jeans fit closer to the body to avoid a gap in the back. The pattern is actually different from regular jeans; all the shape is in the hip. The stitching is very minimal but has rounded edges, which works with the contours of women’s body curves—and most importantly we use amazing fabric, which is unbelievably comfortable.
KK: These jeans are made to fit every shape and size. They’re sexy and flattering, and made to fit you—not the other way around.
How are societal beauty ideals changing?
EG: There really is a new definition of sexy. Women no longer aspire to the straight shape of the fashion establishment. We want to celebrate our curves and strength as women. Some call it a new silhouette, but we just think of it as embracing the body you were given regardless of your dress size.
KK: I believe that every woman should feel confident and good about themselves, regardless of what size they are. Being involved in a project like this allows me to spread that confidence and empower others to be the beautiful, strong women they are.
Who are some women and men you look to that are leading this cultural shift?
KK: First and foremost, our GA Squad—which includes the likes of Jordyn Woods, GabiFresh, Stephanie Rao, Nadia Aboulhosn. Also amazing girls like Rihanna, Ashley Graham, Beyoncé—all of these have helped shift body ideals.
Who are your denim style icons?
EG: I think Rihanna has had some many memorable denim moments. I’d have to say her.
How does social media impact our beauty ideals?
EG: Well, social media is giving a platform to a much wider range of individuals, so we’re seeing a more realistic and fair view of what’s considered beautiful, and certainly a more diverse picture than traditional media has been giving us. We found so many amazing women to join in our launch and be a part of the GA Squad through just one of Khloé’s Instagram posts. Girls who, just like us, want to embrace this new body ideal.
KK: Social media has allowed us to reach people who we admire quickly and directly. We are so thankful to everyone who has been part of the launch campaign.
Khloé, do you have any tips for having a positive impact on social media?
KK: Be positive and honest on your social media. Otherwise, I love the new blocking feature on Instagram—I’m using it to block negativity!
Tell us about your GA Squad. What were you looking for at casting?
EG: The GA Squad shows what Good American is all about. Khloé went out and asked a number of girls via social media, some we knew and some we asked to come forward to be part of our brand launch.
KK: I wanted to find real girls to join us in this movement. This isn’t just about finding the perfect pair of jeans, but about embracing your body and being proud of all that you are.
EG: We found an amazing collection of women, many who are stars in their own right. These girls all show what our definition of sexy really is.
What’s behind the name Good American, both as a concept and as a company?
EG: The name Good American is a play on the whole notion of the stereotype of “good.” Can you not be sexy and intelligent and still be good? And do good? The Good American girl doesn’t apologize for herself. She’s not shy.
KK: Just because you’re proud and confident in yourself doesn’t mean you’re not good or someone who doesn’t do good.
What is the best thing women can do for each other?
KK: We should celebrate one another. Uplift rather than tear down. So many times young women are lured into what their group of friends is saying or doing, even when they know it’s not right. We believe that doing good and promoting one’s best self is sexier than doing evil in this world. March to the beat of your own drum.
EG: We should aspire to becoming strong, successful women who don’t compromise our sexuality for our career or anything else.