Create & Cultivate 100: Fashion: Nicolette Mason & Gabi Gregg

Nicolette_header.png

Representation matters. Just ask Nicolette Mason and Gabi Gregg.

As fashion industry veterans and OG bloggers, Nicolette and Gabi teamed up to address a lack of premium and stylish designs in plus-size retail. The duo has spent their careers in the fashion industry and have repeatedly been frustrated by the lack of plus-size statement pieces inspired by high fashion, streetwear, or seasonal trends. The reality is that without access to stylish wardrobes, there is an implicit message to plus-size women: This is what you can, and cannot, wear. This message is reinforced constantly throughout all facets of culture, and this powerhouse pair decided: Enough was enough.

Enter Premme. The brand brainchild of Mason and Gregg was born out of a love of fashion and the recognition that the industry is still lacking when it comes to the wants and needs of plus-size women. This mission of the brand is to provide plus-size women with bold, fashion-forward statement pieces without compromise. Screw socially-reinforced hegemony—Premme is about embracing who you are and looking fine AF while doing it. Because the thing about capitalism is that if consumers make enough noise and demand increases, the more inclusive the market must become. Keep your eyes peeled as Mason and Gregg take 2019 by storm, advocating for more accessible fashion and plus-size representation.

What was the inspiration behind Premme?

Premme was born out of our frustration at the lack of stylish, quality options in the plus-size market. Our designs are statement pieces that are inspired by trends from the runway and street style.

You’re friends and co-founders. Why does that business dynamic work for you?

We’ve both been leaders in the plus-size community for almost a decade and have very similar career trajectories; we’ve both been fashion editors, influencers, designers, and brand consultants, and we saw similar issues with the status quo. Because we started as close friends, we are able to communicate easily--we also share similar values and aesthetic taste which helps!

How would you describe the Premme aesthetic?

The Premme aesthetic is feminine, bold, and unapologetic. We like to encourage our customers to break fashion rules and provide her the wardrobe to do just that: From prints and colors to crop tops and cut-outs, our designs are about pushing fashion forward.

What do you think people crave when they get dressed in the morning?

A mix of comfort and style, and pieces that make them feel confident as they walk out the door.

What should every woman have in her wardrobe?

We both love moto jackets—they add a little personality to any outfit and work over everything from a tee and jeans to a frilly dress.

What about your job makes you feel the most fulfilled?

Hearing from our customers and community about how our clothing makes them feel good in their skin is definitely the most fulfilling part of our job!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Maintain your integrity and trust your gut.

What’s been the biggest surprise or highlight of your career to date?

The first day that Premme launched was such a career high—the feedback and excitement from our followers was palpable, and watching as the clothing we worked so hard on sold out was unforgettable.

Where does your passion/drive come from?

We’re both passionate about social justice and equality, and we’ve chosen to pursue a creative career that affects change: giving plus-size women access to designs and styles they’ve been told (either directly or through what’s currently available for them to shop) that they shouldn’t wear. The lack of options is really astounding—68% of women are plus-size while the plus-size fashion market only accounts for 17% of the womenswear market. It’s not okay and we feel a responsibility to help change things.

What keeps you up at night?

Donald Trump.

Whose career really inspires you?

Emily Weiss.

What has been your biggest opportunity or biggest challenge?

Funding—it’s really sad how little VC funding goes to people of color and/or women.

What are the common challenges you've seen among women in the fashion industry?

Hiring practices are still problematic, not just for models but for all positions, race, size and overall looks still play a huge role. Opportunities are still going to the most “attractive” people by European standards.

The lack of options is really astounding—68% of women are plus-size while the plus-size fashion market only accounts for 17% of the womenswear market. It’s not okay and we feel a responsibility to help change things.

What would you change about the plus-size industry?

We’d love if there were more quality, trend driven clothing options, more diverse and size-inclusive casting, and more body positive language and messaging.

Whose style do you love?

Rihanna, Solange, Tracee Ellis Ross.

When you hit a bump or hurdle in your career, how do you find a new road + switch gears to find success?

Being a strong leader is definitely about flexibility and being nimble when you confront problems. We’ve both learned that bumps and hurdles are actually opportunities to grow and become better at our jobs.

What’s next for you? What are you most excited for in 2019?

Growing and scaling Premme to the business we know it can be. We’re a super new brand and have so many ideas that we can’t wait to show the world! Not to mention, we want to body positivity to reach as many people as possible.

Photography by Annie McElwain Photography

Photoshoot skincare provided by Dermalogica

VIEW THE ENTIRE CREATE & CULTIVATE 100 FASHION CATEGORY HERE!