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Khloé Kardashian may have initially made a name for herself as a reality star and style icon, but over the past few years, she's helped push the fashion industry in the right direction, making some much-needed changes when it comes to clothing. Her brand, Good American, is one of the rare labels that really does feel inclusive when it comes to sizing, releasing pairs of jeans that go from 00 to 30 and basics ranging from XS to 5XL. And, no, you don't have to scroll to a special section while shopping online; all of it is together, making the experience a lot less stressful.
The brand's latest drop, the Neon Swim + Essentials collection, is no different in that respect — teeny tiny bikinis and fit-like-a-glove workout sets are available in the whole size range — but it is a heck of a lot brighter. There's no blending in with the crowd while wearing these shades of coral, pink, and lemon lime, but then again, it's summer, we're traveling, and we've been itching to wear fun fashion.
Speaking with InStyle over the phone, Kardashian tells us why she went with the neon theme — which, *ahem,* was totally her thing before it was Kim's — what she really thinks about those Tarzan-like bikini bottoms, and she makes a convincing case for belly chains.
We know you love neon, but can you talk a little bit more about why this was the perfect theme for the collection?
"I do really love neon. For me, I think especially for summertime, it just makes me excited and happy. Most of the time I gravitate toward black, or things that are just easy, where we all kind of feel safe and comfortable. But then in the summer, you kind of want to show your body off more, or you're wearing less clothing because it's so hot outside. Neon just kind of makes me really happy and feel good. I feel like it embodies summer."
It's definitely fun to add more color into your wardrobe for this summer.
"And it's so funny because I see all these clips going around where, on our show [Keeping Up with the Kardashians], my sister Kim was making fun of me, because she goes through my closet all the time. That's like my biggest anxiety — I literally can't breathe when she's in there. But she was going through all my stuff and was like, "Neon is so over." And I really like neon so, don't touch my shit. And then, she has an amazing line called SKIMS and does her own little neon capsule. I'm like, 'Oh really? Okay…" But that is sisters in a nutshell!"
Another big part of this collection is something that's controversial in a way, the Tiny Ties-type bottom. People are really either into that style or they're not. What are your thoughts, and what are your tips for pulling that off?
"I agree. I think I was on the fence, too, but I also think you have to find the right one. And I love that with Good American, we offer more coverage and it has the thicker bands. But I think it kind of just depends on either your mood, or if you want minimal tan lines, or where you're going. I'm someone that dresses for my personality that day; some days we wake up and we don't feel as great in our skin and some days we feel fabulous. So, I really think it depends on your mood."
"Some days we wake up and we don't feel as great in our skin and some days we feel fabulous."
"But we definitely listened to our consumer, and we don't limit our consumers. I don't like to tell somebody that's either smaller or bigger than me what I think they should or shouldn't be wearing. That's so inappropriate, and I don't like anyone telling me that. And what I really dislike is that a lot of brands will make something that might be like the Tiny Ties but only make them in smaller sizes. I know so many women that are larger sizes that are so freaking gorgeous and have the best bodies, they're just not a size zero. They want to wear the skimpy stuff. So we just like to have a little bit of everything for everyone. We don't want to tell people how to dress, we want them to choose, and I think it's everyone's choice. But still, with our Tiny Ties, we make sure that you still get the support that you need, especially with women coming in all voluptuousness-es. I think it's important just for people to have options, and for people to pick and choose what they want."
How important is it to you to have such a wide range of sizes? During the pandemic, some brands cut back on sizing, but Good American is still such a go-to because it's so inclusive.
"At one point in my life, I was a size 14 or 16 depending on the brand, which is very average in the United States. I've definitely been on the bigger end of the spectrum and on the smaller. But I remember how I felt when I was at my biggest size. Shopping alone was challenging — being separated, having minimal options, or being told I had to shop at a different floor. It never made me feel good or made me want to go shopping. And that's really been the ethos of what we do and stand by. Everything is inclusive, whether it be swim, athletic wear, denim, whatever it is. We want to offer in all sizes. And we really love our retailers who support us, because we don't allow them to stop at a size, for example, 14. Like, no, if you want to carry the brand, you have to carry the whole size range."
"And, yes, during times of COVID, I understand why so many people needed to cut back. But for us, we couldn't cut back on our core values. We would rather cut back on certain categories of doing clothing, but we can't cut back on certain sizes because then that's just not authentic to who we are. Sometimes brands do things because it's trendy, as opposed to what they really believe in, but we're not."
And the proof is in the fact that everything, especially in this collection, is selling out. What does that feel like? And how does it help you plan future items?
"Good American is still like a baby, it will be five in October, and for me, I'm always nervous before a drop because what if no one buys anything? It's a lot of pressure. But if something sells out, you typically buy more stock, even if it's a whole different collection. You're like, okay, swim works well for us, so let's buy more swim."
"Kim did her neon collection, I think, maybe a month or two before mine, but ours was already in development months ahead of time — like this was designed, I don't know, six or eight months ago. But seeing how much hers sold out, I was like, 'Oh my gosh, okay. Are people still going to want to buy more neon?' Because even though it's not swim, I put a lot of pressure on myself and I get a little nervous."
"You just have to listen to your customer feedback, and I think that's the secret to the success — taking advantage of social media and using it almost like focus groups."
"You just have to listen to your customer feedback, and I think that's the secret to the success — taking advantage of social media and using it almost like focus groups. You're getting all of this free advice or information. You do have to take some of it with a grain of salt, but you have to listen to your consumers as well, and I know people were craving brighter things. You kind of have to take risks and believe in yourself, and if you know you're producing great products with great quality, then I really do think you just need someone — one person — to buy it. The rest kind of spreads like wildfire. We produce really great, quality clothing, and I'm proud of it. I'm also proud of the way that we listen to our customers — that's even how we created a size 15 in denim. You just have to listen to the people who are buying your products."
This collection is mostly swimwear, but why was it important for you to include fitness wear as well?
"That might've been a little selfish on my part because I loved the neon. I am someone who does typically grab a black legging — it's just so easy to throw a black workout outfit on. But I also am a firm believer that if you look cute in your workout clothes, you're going to go to the gym. I really do think that whole theory works. I just wanted some bright, fun workout clothes, so I'm excited about the neon fitness stuff. But I will say that might've just been a little thing for me."
And why was the sarong your choice of coverup?
"Oh, I love a sarong, I just think they're so easy. You could also wear them as head scarves if you want. I just think it's a no-brainer. And to pack them in a suitcase or a tote, it's such an easy, simple coverup and they don't take up room. I have so many sarongs."
You were also wearing belly chains in the photos! Are those back, in your opinion?
"Oh, my God. I love, I love, love, love a belly chain. I've been wearing a belly chain for a couple years, so I don't think they've been back, but I've just always loved them. Now what I'm seeing, and what I did, I wore two [by Jacquie Aiche] at the shoot. People are now doubling up on belly chains. And you know that whole beaded trend that's in? Little beads, kind of like rave stuff? Now I see so many belly chains made out of that instead of gold or diamonds. But I love a very dainty belly chain. I just think it's sexy."
What are some pieces from this drop that you would wear as an everyday outfit?
"Oh my gosh, well, they're all neon, so that's hard for an everyday outfit. It's sad, but I think even before COVID, I still was in workout clothes all the time, so I can't even use that as an excuse. With workout clothes, it's just so easy, and having them be this bright, you can wear them multi-purposeful. So, if you wanted to wear the sports bra as almost like a crop top with a pair of jeans, you can totally do that because the colors are so bright and vivid. The straps are on the slinkier side, but still have that support. I also think that the bandeau top from swim, you can wear that as a tube top. That has great support, too, if you want to do the whole '90s thing with the '90s denim that people are doing. You could make it a whole thing."