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Insider info on Liz Plank x BonLook
We took the time to catch up with Canadian journalist, author and women’s rights activist Liz Plank, following her latest collaboration with BonLook.
How would you describe your personal style? What are some of your favourite fashion and style trends?
My taste for clothes is just like my taste for snacks, they can be weird as long as they make me feel good. When I have to wear clothes that are uncomfortable I get real moody. There are enough things out there that make me feel bad about myself, my clothes shouldn’t be one of them. For far too long I wore shoes that were too pointy or sweaters that were too prickly. When I started having to enter rooms I felt like I didn’t deserve to be in, I realized that my style shouldn’t prevent me from expressing myself, it should facilitate it. My favorite trends are the ones that make women more comfortable and in a better position to slay their life. Fashion can tell you a lot about women in society and individually rebelling against every culture’s tendency to scrutinize women’s bodies is activism. I think my favorite trend is pockets because pockets are a right, not a privilege. Hands down (no pun intended). If women’s clothing doesn’t have pockets, where are women supposed to put all their equal pay once they get it?
How would you describe your collection with BonLook?
The Femme Libre collection is all about being proud to be a woman. The glasses are more than just a collection, they’re a statement about this moment in time. Every single action we take matters. That’s why I’m proud to announce that a portion of my sales commission will be donated to Girl Up, a United Nations Foundation organization that I’ve had the pleasure to serve on the board of for the last few years. They help young girls here in Canada and the US but also abroad in developing countries get access to educational opportunities to thrive and give back to their communities. I also named the three pairs of glasses after my mother, my sister and my niece, the most badass lady wolf pack that made me who I am.
What personal inspiration did you pull from in the design of this collection?
When I came into our first design meeting, I brought in the first pair of second-hand glasses I ever bought more than a decade ago and asked if we could inspire the collection from them because they still mean a lot to me. They were the first pair of glasses that I ever wore that felt unconventional. I even remember feeling nervous to wear them in public at first because they were so big and weird. But eventually, they marked a new beginning for me where my glasses became a conduit for my personality. Not being afraid to wear corky glasses meant not being afraid to be my corky self. Being able to own your style is just another way of owning who you are. I wanted the glasses to be original, yet adaptable to any woman’s personal style. I hope every woman can make them her own. I hope they can empower every woman to own who she is, even the parts that she feels like she needs to hide.
How was the design/production process with BonLook? What was the process like?
I feel so grateful because BonLook got me from day one. Going into my first design and branding meeting with the team was like a really great first date that I never wanted to end. The whole team understood the focus of my passion when it comes to gender equality and knew exactly how to incorporate that vision seamlessly into the collection. When they reached out to collaborate, I couldn’t think of a better company or a better product to collaborate on. I brought in an idea for my dream glasses and they made it happen, like some kind of feminist fairy godmother. It felt precious to see my ideas come to life and executed so magically and meticulously by the team. The design and styling of the photoshoot was spectacular. I gave BonLook the designs for my dream t-shirts and poof just like that they had them made! I’m jazzed that BonLook has decided to give away the shirts to the first few people who buy their glasses so that they can wear the message of the collection on their sleeves, literally!
Why the name Femme Libre for your collection?
Even though I moved to New York, I still feel like Montreal is where my heart and soul is. I wanted the collection to have a french name to highlight the roots that define me.  The first feminist text I ever read in school was from Simone De Beauvoir so feminism and the french language have always been intertwined for me. When I think about what happiness would look like for all women it all comes back to one concept: freedom. The fight for equal rights for any marginalized group is really a fight for liberty. The freedom to be who we are is what every fight for human rights really boils down to. Freedom means different things to different people. For one woman it means being able to hold hands with her partner in public, for another it means being able to use a public bathroom safely and for another it may just mean stepping out with a weird pair of glasses and not giving two shits about it. Freedom is the most precious thing women have. We all need to protect it. Femme Libre is based on that simple idea: that women should be free.
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