Our International Women’s Day celebrations are continuing for the rest of the month with a couple of talks with four of the most influential females in the sneaker & streetwear industry, on topics that are important to both themselves and size?.
For the second talk, we caught up with to fashion stylist, creative and sneaker enthusiast Coco Mell and fashion stylist blogger Kitty Cowell as part of our Talking Inclusivity & Representation with size?.
Keep on reading to get to know Shanice, Andrea Coco Mell and Kitty Cowell a little bit better.
Shan is a content creator within the sneaker industry and has built a platform on Instagram which she uses to fight for representation of black women within a predominantly male-dominated space. Black female empowerment is a passion of Shan’s; she is always championing diversity and hopes to inspire others to have confidence and pride in the skin they are in.
“I feel that the voice and contributions of black women have been forgotten in modern streetwear culture,” she tells us. “I rarely saw myself in sneaker and streetwear campaigns, where other races were always used to push the narrative that has its roots in black culture. Being darker skinned I never felt seen within the industry.”
With a trainer collection spanning over 200 pairs and valuing upwards of £20,000, not only is she a rising force within the culture but she is changing the face of it too. Shan has worked with some of the biggest names in streetwear culture and hopes her continued work with these brands will allow the next generation of young women to see themselves positively represented in the industry.
Andrea Da Silva
Andrea is the CEO of a Talent & Social Media Management Agency called Coconut Social; she’s also a content creator and curve model. She was born in Brazil, grew up in Germany, and made her way to the UK to study International Business Management.
Speaking about fashion, she shared that she was always into sneakers and streetwear, but it was seeing Missy Elliot that her love affair with Air Force 1s began.
“She was also the first plus-sized woman of an ethnic minority that I saw on TV – so no wonder it impacted me and my style for years to come,
“From that moment I desperately needed my first pair (they were pink, lol). Now I own 14 pairs of AF1s.”
Her career in Social Media Marketing started a few years back: “While I was at Uni I took pictures for Instagram just for fun not knowing where it would lead. After I graduated with my Master’s Degree, I fell into a job in Social Media Marketing which I quickly grew to love and began to apply my knowledge to my platform – I remember I was shocked the first time I was offered money for a post.”
Adrea started her own agency 3 years ago with a focus on representation in the industry as she often felt left out and overlooked. “I’ve never looked back as this is something I’m still very passionate about and remains very close to my heart,” she shares with us.
Andrea ended our chat with a positive sentiment:
“I stand for women empowerment, women in business, self-love and body honesty and I’m grateful to be able to inspire other women, especially curvy & plus-size women in streetwear through my platform. We have a long way to go but we’re on the right path!”
Kitty Cowell is a UK based Fashion Stylist, Content Creator, Consultant, Lifestyle Blogger and Presenter – very busy, we know.
Having worked on music videos for the likes of Lethal Bizzle; magazines like Highsnobiety and Wonderland and being Contributing Fashion Features Editor at Notion Magazine for two and a half years, Kitty is currently freelance and working with lots of brands and musicians.
Kitty is a keen sneaker and streetwear enthusiast and collector too, as we’re sure you can tell by the image above!
As a blogger, Kitty is continuously working with all kinds of brands, reviewing the best vegan food spots and giving you work out and mindfulness tips as she goes.
Coco Mell is a streetwear powerhouse who is championing, challenging and changing the projected narrative when it comes to black women within the UK’s sneaker community and beyond!
As well as being an internationally recognised fashion stylist who’s worked with all the major footwear brands, Coco also founded and co-hosts her very own podcast – Sole Intent – which in its first season, during lockdown, explored all things sneaker culture through the respective lens of two working, black women within the industry.
She still finds the time to head up as the CEO of her very own progressive creative entity, CMC 2020 – birthed in the moving aftermath of the BLM movement. Which see’s Coco offer a range of creative services to clients whilst also being steadfast in unapologetically using her company and personal platform to highlight the disproportionate lack of visibility and recognition of BIWOC’s contribution within the streetwear culture. Coco and her business’s core intention is to spearhead for authentic representation and inclusion of black/brown women at all working levels.
And when she’s not busy doing all of that, Coco’s out there serving up vibrant, colour packed looks. Showcasing her bold footwear collection spanning over a decade’s worth and growing at a vastly unknown rate.