Leomie Anderson is no ordinary model. That may sound like the oldest line in the book but in the case of the 23-year-old model, it couldn’t be more true.
Scouted while walking home from school, Leomie is loved by Jeremy Scott – having walked for Moschino multiple times – finally landing a dream job in the form of the Victoria’s Secret show last year.
Unlike a lot of models, Leomie refuses to be a simple clotheshorse. She is already known for speaking her mind and raising awareness of important issues including the unfair treatment of black models and the sexualisation of young women.
In October, she created LAPP: an empowering brand encompassing a clothing line and blog that allows girls of all ages to express their views. Her first collection focused on the issue of consent, featuring a series of witty t-shirts reading “you tried” and “lol nah” aka lines to use when you’re stuck in an uncomfortable situation.
Worn by the likes of Jourdan Dunn (who Leomie describes as “one of [her] role models”), it sent a clear and strong message.
Today sees the launch of LAPP’s latest range with a decidedly anti-Trump message. “This p***y grabs back” shouts sugar sweet hoodies, referencing the newly elected president’s controversial line.
Fresh from her second Victoria’s Secret appearance, we caught up with the British beauty to talk misogyny, lingerie critics and the importance of speaking out.
LAPP stands for ‘Leomie Anderson the Project the Purpose’. I wanted to create a safe space on the internet which is free from the negativity I see hurled at women online all the time. LAPP is created and curated for women, by women, and gives us a platform to voice our stories and perspectives. I want to keep growing this community and definitely want to speak at more schools next year.
Right now, I feel like Trump is the most internationally recognisable face of misogyny. He’s even been described as the man at the helm of the war against women. I saw a video of women protesting with the phrase that is adorned on my collection and really felt inspired by it. It’s not just an anti-Trump collection. It is against everything he stands for in regards to women and our rights.
It’s important to use my public position to spread awareness. I believe that if you have a following and are passionate about something, you should speak on it, but only if it is something that is truly important to you. I don’t think it’s fair to say that someone is obligated to speak on issues if they aren’t passionate about it.
The beauty industry is finally doing right by black models. Right now I’m just so happy to see so many black models winning! From my friend Herieth getting a Maybelline contract and rocking her natural hair to Zuri who is the face of Victoria’s Secret Pink, I’m just smiling a lot. Fashion still has a long way to go when it comes to the representation of different ethnic backgrounds but there’s definitely some Black Girl Magic around.
Walking in the Victoria’s Secet Fashion Show for a second time is a dream come true. Words can’t describe just how insane the experience has been for me – especially getting two looks and wings! I kept my food choice healthy and tried new classes in order to prepare for the show so I’m glad it was all worth it.
I feel that Victoria’s Secret represents so many women. It’s not just 18-year-old girls walking the show. There’s grown women – some with kids who I feel are great role models and icons in the industry. In an industry that can be plagued with ageism, I think VS is really refreshing!
I recently wrote about finding the confidence to walk for VS. I think people need to stop comparing yourself to others. Remember that you are a unique being. Learn to love yourself and not seek validation from other people. You are good enough.
I have big plans for the future. I would love to become a TV presenter and host my own documentary where I get to meet new people and learn new things. A dream of mine is to hold a TED Talk too so watch this space!