Amy Schumer and Stylist Leesa Evans Team With H&M to Empower Women Through Clothing
As part of the nonprofit's efforts to make the act of getting dressed a power move, the first collaborative event styled 25 members of the LGBTQ community.
Anyone still uncertain of fashion’s ability to incite change might consider the work of Stylefund and the organization’s newly formed partnership with Swedish fast-fashion retailer H&M. Co-founded by costume designer and stylist Leesa Evans and actor Amy Schumer in 2016, Stylefund works with various community groups, from Goodwill to the Trans Wellness Center, to help people find confidence through clothing and make getting dressed more of a power move than an anxiety-filled process.
Last week, the two companies kicked off the first in a series of events at H&M's downtown Los Angeles location. Amid a bustling glam station, a masseuse and an active wind machine pumping through a photo shoot, Evans and her team (including fellow costume designer Christine Wada) styled 25 members of the LGBTQ community with clothing and accessories from H&M, which donated several complete looks to the event’s participants.
"Our missions are aligned in the sense that they believe there’s a unifying factor to getting dressed every day, no matter your gender or economic level," says Evans of the partnership with H&M. "The fact that they want to support with a series of events for all different types of people means we are able to connect with all different types of people."
For the first event, that meant a group of trans men and women who are clients of APAIT, the TransLatin@ Coalition, the Trans Wellness Center, St. John’s Well Child & Family Center and the Children's Hospital Los Angeles - BLUSH Program, all of whom received a personal styling session, hair and makeup from Paul Mitchell, and a portrait session of their final look with photographer Katie Jones.
"Leesa and Amy approached us about supporting the trans community, specifically trans women of color," says Noah Gonzales, West Coast communications manager for H&M. "We look forward to working with them and aligning our strengths to push out this message of good and in support of the LGBTQ community, not just this month, but throughout the entire year."
He adds that, in addition to being approached by Evans and Schumer, H&M store staff voiced their desire to work with and support the LGBTQ community. "It’s something that’s important to us as a brand, but we’ve also heard from our store staff how important the trans community is to them. This initiative aligns with our values from the ground up," he says.
Stylefund and H&M are planning the next event to coincide with back-to-school timing this fall, infusing the same feel-good, confidence-boosting styling services.
"Events like this are vital," says Jazzmun Crayton, health and policy coordinator at APIAT, after having her outfit styled. "It gives the youth we work with the opportunity to navigate in the most humane, safe and affirming way, where they know they’re valued and desired. They can let their hair down and be among other people like themselves and allow professionals to just love on them and celebrate their uniqueness and amazingness."