Mother-daughter team Elisa Goodkind and Lily Mandelbaum’s new book True Style is What’s Underneath: The Self-Acceptance Revolution is meant to empower women of all ages, body types and races. Nearly six years ago, the duo created the brand StyleLikeU with the mission of challenging stereotypes that were born from the fashion industry.
Now, they’ve compiled personal interviews and never-before-seen photos from StyleLikeU’s viral “What’s Underneath” video series, seen below, for the new tome. Everyone from Girls’ Jemima Kirke, Lizzo, Orange is the New Black’s Lea Delaria, and Tallulah Willis share stories for the project.
Co-founder Goodkind says the inspiration for StyleLikeU stemmed from her time working in the publishing industry. “More and more I was feeling like fashion was becoming about celebrities and models and conformity and not about self-expression and individualism which is what I think fashion and style should really be about,” she explains.
Goodkind and Mandelbaum have always shared an appreciation for personal style and were most inspired by the people working behind-the-scenes in the fashion industry.
Mandelbaum says that she struggled with body image in college and really wanted to feel good about herself as a normal fashion consumer. When selecting people to interview for the book, she says that she was drawn to certain people because of their style first, but it grew into an appreciation for every age, body type and aesthetic. She says, “The reason they are so beautiful to my mom and I is that they’re accepting and owning what makes them unique and unrepeatable. It starts from within and then you can learn to accept yourself.”
By illustrating that personal style emanates from one’s comfort with oneself, this book powerfully demonstrates that true style is what’s underneath.
“We realized that what was super empowering to us was people being comfortable in their own skin. Style is about recognizing that your imperfections are what make you a unique individual and ultimately unrepeatable,” Goodkind shares what she learned after speaking with such a diverse range of women for the book.
Purchase True Style is What’s Underneath: The Self-Acceptance Revolution here.