August 15, 2018 • All

Thought leader Dana Falsetti is an advocate for those aspiring to live life more fully and to become their best and highest selves. Originally known for their strength in yoga, Dana now utilizes their platform to focus on raising the collective consciousness and inspiring critical thought, self-awareness, and confidence across multiple modalities including their podcast, public speaking engagements, written pieces, international yoga workshops, and more. They have been featured in the print and online publications Seventeen, People, Shape, Upworthy, Mantra, Health Magazine, Buzzfeed, and more. Dana was the 2017 Shorty Award winner (recognizing excellence in social media) in the Health and Wellness category, and they have also been included in numerous “most inspiring” lists for their work.

When I first discovered Dana’s work, I was struck by their confidence and presence. They were so sure of themselves and their message but also vulnerable and relatable. Their openness is evident, and their incredibly engaged following is a testament to the thoughtful conversations they spark. Dana’s work extends far beyond the visible images in their feed - they host dialogue that is enlightening, often challenging, and always worth paying attention to. While the content I first experienced of Dana’s was centered around the body (celebrating it, accepting it - or not, becoming powerful in it), they dig into a myriad of other social issues and is not afraid of difficult conversations. Most recently, they have encouraged me to think hard about all forms of marginalization and my role in it. Their willingness to talk about race, gender, and activism has helped spark a deep journey of self-education and reflection that has been both difficult but incredibly rewarding (currently, I'm reading So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo and White Fragility by Robin Diangelo).

I was thrilled to work with Dana on this campaign. I admire their creativity and the way they use so many mediums to skillfully express it. Their writing, teaching, speaking, physical practice - each form of expression has its own voice and purpose. We photographed Dana here in Nashville on a snowy morning, and getting to know them in person was such an amazing experience. We discovered so many similarities in both our work and our approach to dressing. As business owners at a young age, we talked about managing our time and energy, capitalism, the tension between growing a company and remaining centered as an artist, and the wonderful but complex reality of operating a business heavily rooted in social media. With so much emotional energy invested in their work, comfort, simplicity, and beauty in clothing are of paramount importance to Dana. Pieces that can transition from meditative stretches to computer work in the studio to dinner or errands. We went with silk wide-leg trousers, easy, cropped linen tops, deep pockets, and layers that are perfect for traveling. My favorite thing about Dana’s approach to dressing, though, is their distaste for the concept of clothing needing to be “flattering." I share their inclination - flattering implies that there is someone to please outside of yourself, that your body needs to be diminished, that the appearance of being larger or less hourglass is an inherently bad thing to be avoided. I encourage comfort over flattery every day of the week, especially because the people that I most admire and want to emulate are the ones that look deeply, truly, happy and joyful. Nobody feels joyful when they're physically uncomfortable. So at any rate, seeing Dana live this with passion makes me incredibly happy and proud. If you’re in need of a dose of self-confidence, encouragement, or thought-provoking conversation, I encourage you to follow their work, listen to their fantastic new podcast, and check out their workshops.

We asked Dana what role clothing plays in their life and work, and here’s what they had to say:

“For me, clothing is powerful and political. I've spent my life navigating what it meant to not have much clothing available to me. In turn, this meant not fitting in. By age 12, I was shopping in the plus size women's section of department stores and my self-expression and place in the world was affected as a result. I couldn't shop where I wanted to, I didn't have the privilege of seeing an article of clothing and knowing it would come in my size. Clothes that did come in my size were usually designed with the assumption that I wanted to be covered or that I wanted to create the illusion of an hourglass shape, essentially reinforcing the shame I was expected to feel as a plus size person. Now that I have stepped into my power and found a place of confidence from within, and especially because there are more options for me now as a plus size shopper than ever before, clothing has become an extension of my power. It's a way for me to reclaim how I take up space and what I get to say by just existing. My body already makes a statement everywhere I go just because of society's perception - I might as well use my autonomy to decide what it says. I've learned to turn those assumptions into something bold, something truly me, something perhaps unexpected. My clothing is an extension of how I show up in the world. Without shame. With my belly out. In bright colors or all black. In shapes that aren't "flattering." I dress for myself and I am powerful. As a plus size, fat, curvy person, knowing my power and existing joyfully is an important political statement I'm glad to make. "

Dana wears the Linn Tee in Ivory Midweight Linen, Florence Pant in Black Silk Crepe, Georgia Tee in Moss Silk Crepe, Clyde Work Pant in Black Cotton Canvas (see a similar style), and the Clyde Trench in Black Cotton Canvas (see a similar style).