Photo by Alexander at Jawfox Photography. Models Catherine Owens and Margaret
ABLE By Amanda Campbell is making a fashion statement by designing socially conscious clothing for women. “I want to empower women and make them feel confident and beautiful in their body,” says founder and designer Amanda Campbell.
In a society that can skirt the issue with feelings of shame from the pressure to fit in with beauty standards and a culture that shies away from the naked truth behind body image and mental health, Campbell is offering an outlet with her outfits. ABLE is a contemporary brand that’s stylish, sophisticated and fearlessly fashionable with designs that focus on the figure of real women of all shapes and sizes. Through womenswear, Campbell promotes mental health advocacy and awareness for eating disorders and embraces environmental sustainability.
Amanda Campbell. Photo by Amber Kay Photography
Campbell designs and sews out of her home studio in Newport News, making everything by hand with eco-friendly fabric and dyes as well as repurposing thrift clothing for her creative collections sold online through the brand’s website. She founded the company in 2011 while studying fashion design at Virginia Commonwealth University and relaunched ABLE this year. “Each initial stands for a strong and powerful woman in my life,” she reveals. A for Amanda; B for Beatrice, her grandmother; L for Louise, her mom’s middle name; and E for Elizabeth, her sewing mentor for when she started taking sewing and fashion design classes at age 11.
As a part of her “Rehabilitation Series,” the gossamer garments of “Webs We Weave” hit the runway this April during RVA Fashion Week. “That was really inspired by shame and vulnerability expert Brené Brown and her idea that women experience shame as this conflicting web that society sets for them,” Campbell tells. “It was really about the wearer going through the process of breaking free from that web.”
Photo by Alexander at Jawfox Photography
Campbell’s new collection “Imperfections,” focusing on physical flaws will debut this fall at DC Fashion Week and Central Virginia Fashion Week. “It’s focusing on different things that women find imperfect about their skin, like wrinkles and stretch marks and blemishes,” she describes, “and embracing the beauty and the story that our skin tells.”
Campbell’s capsule collections, including dresses, tops, a tunic and skirts, can all be found through ABLE’s website. She’s expanding her sizing to extra large to boost body positivity. When she’s not promoting her brand, Campbell teaches sewing and fashion design classes at Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center in Newport News. “When I learned to sew and learned to make clothes that fit me and clothing that made me feel confident in my own skin, that felt like a super power to me,” remarks Campbell. “I want other women to feel just as beautiful and confident as I have.”
Visit ABLEByAmandaCampbell.com to shop for Amanda Campbell’s designer clothing and support her Kickstarter campaign for her latest capsule collection.