When we launched Americae a few months ago, we were committed to creating a color-forward, elegant brand of womenswear that inspired women to dress as extraordinary as they were, among other reasons, and along the way rethink how apparel and accessories were marketed to them.
Part of the reason why our ethos is #realityisextraordinary is because we believe all women are extraordinary and the lives they lead deserve to be celebrated.
We quickly figured out that one really exciting way to do that was by hosting an open casting call and including all women in the model casting process for our next campaign.
When we launched the call for our winter 2018/2019 campaign we hoped to find a few women that personified the Americae Woman, women who were busy living life on their own terms and making an impact in the world around them, and embodied the brand's spirit and ethos.
What happened after our initial request for submissions was thrilling. Women from all over the country, of all ages, professions, and backgrounds felt moved by Americae and wanted to join our open casting call in hopes of being part of our winter 2018/2019 campaign.
We are lucky and pleased to introduce you to six Americae women––extraordinary and inspiring, just like you.
Together, we had conversations about owning ambition, the role women have in supporting other women, embracing difference, the importance of personal style, and the concept of #realityisextraordinary.
Each parted with a number of powerful words they'd like to share with you.
Without further ado,
What do you do?
Priyanca Mody: Resident physician at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. I am also pursuing an M.B.A. degree at Philadelphia University.
Maria Kravets: Allocation Analyst for Burlington at their corporate headquarters.
Emma Lippert: Studio manager at SLT, full-time instructor, and personal trainer.
Jessica Cady: Bartender and part-time model.
Laura Gomez: Sales Management Associate for PepsiCo.
Ariel Brockman: I am a social worker and a college advisor for a nonprofit that specializes in college access and success for first-generation college students.
Where are you from?
Priyanca: I was born and raised in Delaware but my parents are originally from Ahmedabad, India. Growing up in the United States was very different for me. I grew up entrenched in Indian culture. During the week, I was attending Hindi and Indian classical dance classes. On the weekends, I watched Bollywood movies and listened to Bollywood music with my parents. My cultural upbringing, while colorful and fun, made me feel very different. However, now I know that this difference is what makes me unique and I embrace my heritage.
Maria: I was born in Kiev, Ukraine. I was born in Ukraine a couple of years after the collapse of the Soviet Union and came to the states with my mom in 1995. My dad was already here finding a place to live and a job to support us. As part of my culture, I speak Russian and have become very proud of my heritage. I used to feel ashamed of my difference. Now I wear it with pride.
Emma: West Philadelphia, born and raised.
Laura: I was born in Cali, Colombia and moved to Florida when I was eleven years old.
Ariel: New Jersey except for a few years where I lived in Japan.
Favorite Americae items and why?
- Tuxedo Blazer and Cigarette Pants - Makes me feel like a boss.
- Circle Olivewood Clutch - effortlessly elegant and sexy. Together, these make my favorite outfit.
- Velvet Satin Reversible Kimono Coat – I love the beautiful soft pink color. It’s also reversible and has a fabulous floral print inside.
- Tropical Blazer and Pants - The entire ensemble is so elegant and the colors are vibrant and rich.
- White Knit Dress - This is so versatile and chic.
- Oro Bracelet - Different.
- Velvet Satin Reversible Kimono Coat
- Buenos Aires Top Handle Bag
- Bow-Detailed Blazer Dress - My absolute favorite item. It makes me feel so powerful. I’m not one to wear too much white, let alone light colors. It brought me out of my comfort zone and made me feel bold.
- Tropical Blazer and Pants - It's stunning. I love how colorful and classy it is and I can see my own personality embedded in this outfit.
- Velvet Satin Reversible Kimono Coat - It's versatile and comfortable.
- The Circle Olivewood Clutch - This is to die for. I have never seen anything like it before!
- Blue Silk Sleeveless Blouse - This piece is strong and versatile. It can be dressed up or casual. No matter what bottoms you choose, you will be fierce.
- Coastal Knit Dress - It makes me think of the saying it’s 5 o’clock somewhere. Go grab a cocktail with your best friend and luxuriate!
- Raw Emerald Ring - So powerful and eye-catching. It can hold its own and doesn’t need the support of any other accessories.
Who do you think embodies the Americae Woman and why?
Priyanca: I believe all women embody the Americae Woman. If I had to choose one woman, it would be Gloria Allred, who is a women’s rights attorney. She is the embodiment of a strong, independent, and intelligent woman who is not afraid to speak her mind.
Maria: Beyoncé, is a great embodiment of the Americae Woman. She is a woman of so many different talents and is constantly empowering other women around her. Her drive and work ethic inspire me.
Emma: The founder, Gabriela Guaracao. She is a bold, brave boss lady with an impeccably effortless chic style.
Jessica: Lana Del Rey and Lady Gaga embody the Americae Woman because they are not afraid to stand out and encourage others to be their true selves.
Laura: Leah Darrow embodies the Americae Woman because she has been able to capture the meaning of authentic beauty, and has been sharing this message to young girls around the United States. Leah inspires women to do something beautiful with their lives while reclaiming the truth about their dignity and self-worth.
Ariel: The Americae Woman is confident, luminous, influential, and adventurous. Tracee Ellis Ross embodies this because she carries herself in a way that exudes these qualities.
Describe your style?
Priyanca: My style is simple and feminine. I love wearing neutral pieces that have rich textures and add pops of color, such as statement jewelry, shoes, or bags. This style is uniquely me because despite the neutral colors, the pieces I pick out always have a unique feature such as shape or texture.
Maria: My style is best summed up as eclectic and I believe it’s authentically me because it cannot be defined. I love wearing beautiful dresses and five-inch heels as much as I love wear chunky boots with masculine jackets and oversized tees.
Emma: My style is best described as "sweaty chic." I love pairing and layering a statement piece with my workout clothes. Something that I can go from training clients in, to a coffee meeting, back to the gym for my own workout, then straight to date night with my husband.
Jessica: I love bringing back styles from the past and making it my own. The first few jobs I ever had were at a few different thrift stores. That’s where I really put together different looks all the time based on how I felt.
Laura: Classy and chic. I love fashion that portrays my femininity and remains timeless.
Ariel: Jeans are staple item in my closet. I love black, but am starting to incorporate more color in my wardrobe.
Our ethos is 'reality is extraordinary.' What drives you or what does this motto mean to you?
Priyanca: "Reality is extraordinary” reminds me of the power of being a woman in today’s society. Women are making gains in all aspects from home to career and making their reality extraordinary.
Maria: What drives me is exactly that motto – Reality is Extraordinary. We don’t give enough credit to everyday life. Whenever I think about what will make me happiest in this life, I realize that those desires are very well within reach. In this same reality, we are capable of doing so much more (earning that black belt, driving a business to success, and being a positive role model to others ) and I think the fact that those spheres of our lives are in the same world is absolutely extraordinary.
Emma: To me this resonates along the lines of "the grass is the greenest where you water it." A gentle reminder to myself that every single day is a chance to be different and make a difference. Carpe Diem!
Jessica: The motto ‘reality is extraordinary’ for me means, we absolutely make our own reality. I may not have all the tools or doors open yet, but the journey makes us who we are.
Laura: Life is a beautiful gift given to us and it is worth making something meaningful out of it. The most important thing in my life is my Catholic faith. It gives me purpose and direction, and that is where I find the most peace.
Ariel: When I first read Americae’s motto I became so excited. This put into words something that I’ve been personally challenging myself to do, to appreciate the power of the present. There’s joy and wonder in our daily lives and we’re often missing out.
What's your personal motto or what message would you like to share with women?
Priyanca: Always feel empowered. The world is yours.
Maria: Don’t pay attention to what anyone else says. You have one life on this Earth and you owe it to yourself to live it the way YOU want. Final decisions concerning anything important in life are yours and yours alone. Either own your confidence or fake it until you have it.
Emma: Show up to every single moment like you belong there.
Jessica: Love yourself, love the women around you, and be kind to one another. There’s something so special about uplifting and respecting each other.
Laura: Our beauty surpasses the physical, as it lies in the essence of our soul. Beauty can be found in the love that we express to ourselves and others through our everyday lives. We are all beautiful women capable of extraordinary things. Let us always uphold our dignity as human beings and raise our standards.
Ariel: Marianne Williamson said it best “We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be?...Your playing small does not serve the world.”