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Amber Rose For MissguidedPhotography Louis Banks, courtesy of Missguided

Amber Rose on using clothes as a tool of empowerment

Missguided has enlisted the famous Muva and brings us an exclusive first look at their collaboration

Who could forget the mysterious aughts stunner sauntering around the streets of Lower Manhattan? A striking platinum buzz cut, garbs dripping an enviable sangfroid, with a pack of menthols and stilettos (or sneakers) always in tow. Fast forward a decade and the femme fatale we now know as Amber Rose has blossomed into a renaissance woman with a hefty resumé: author, talk show host, sex positivity advocate and mother is now trying her hand at fashion.

In spite of often bearing the scarlet letter of an uninhibited woman, Rose inspires countless others to take the reins of their self-expression and identity, and fashion is no exception. After all, who wants to dress with the Madonna-whore complex looming over them or tirelessly cater to the male gaze out of obligation? Known for sashaying past such relics of olden day misogyny and adhering to her own set of rules, the muva is flexing those talents in her collaboration with online retailer Missguided. The collection launches Monday, offering a catalogue of options for the extra femme to the dressed down woman-on-the-go.

We caught up with Rose about the inspiration behind the pieces, destigmatising femme sexuality and how to exercise the power of autonomy through fashion.

FORGET THE CRITICS

“I live my life for myself and do what I want. Society is very mean. That’s why I refer to myself as a ‘slut’ and continue to be open about my sexuality, so no-one can ever criticise me or say something I haven’t said about myself. I rather embrace the negativity and make it a positive. It makes life so much easier. The ones making fun of you are the most superficial people who really hate themselves. Once you get enlightened and understand that, it’s easier to do your own thing. If people are talking about you, you know you’re doing something right.”

SKIN ISN’T AN INVITATION OR EXCUSE FOR ABUSE

“It’s not fun being made fun of or being called a slut for wearing something provocative, or an outfit you feel sexy in. But if you go against the grain and continue to do you, you’ll feel empowered. You can wear whatever you want and no still means no. You’re not “asking” for anything despite what society teaches us. Especially with men, and a lot of girls don’t get it either, it’s really sad. When someone calls you a slut or some other derogatory word used to put down women, it doesn’t mean you’re having sex with a lot of people. Girls in high school who are virgins are called these names every day just because they’re pretty and boys like them or they made out with one guy one time. It has nothing to do with you actually having sex with someone. People call you a slut because they’re uncomfortable with the fact that you’re confident in your sexuality. That’s the only reason.”

“You can wear whatever you want and no still means no. You’re not “asking” for anything despite what society teaches us” – Amber Rose

COMFORT OVER TRENDS, ALWAYS

“Dressing for yourself and finding your own sense of style is important because that is exactly who you are. I’m all about individuality. I’m not into what’s in and stuff like that. That’s what I love about Missguided, every girl is able to get something they like, there’s not one particular look. The collection is an eclectic mix with something for every girl. There are some trends I may like, but I don’t necessarily need to have it because it’s trending. I’m not that girl. I don’t mind being on the worst dressed list. It makes life fun when you can get dressed in the morning without giving a shit what anyone has to say.”

KNOW WHAT FEELS GOOD

“I started experimenting and feeling empowered by fashion as a little girl. I grew up really poor in South Philly so I’d either wear my cousin’s hand-me-down clothes or go to the thrift store. The thrift store definitely helped me because I had to search for great pieces. I was always the girl that was very different in my neighbourhood because I liked to experiment with my clothes and try new things. But doing that and supportive encouragement from my mum helped me embrace my body and boost my confidence. No matter what I had on, she always told me I looked great. The most Amber is probably all black: leather jacket, black shades, black boots. I have days where I want to feel pretty and wear a dress. Other days I want to wear leather pants or a bodysuit and fur jacket. It just depends on how I feel that day and where I’m going. So I wanted to have a selection of pieces for any mood that you’re in. You can expect to see a variety of things. When wearing the pieces, I want people to feel confident in their own skin and feel amazing. Happiness is the most important.”

“Men aren’t judged as harshly for their mistakes; they get a pat on the back and it’s unfair, and that’s why I’m here to talk about it and help empower others” – Amber Rose

NO REGRETS

“No regrets, babe! I have a platform with a lot of supporters and people who love me. I never want anyone to feel bad for anything they do in life, even if they feel like it’s a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes. Men aren’t judged as harshly for their mistakes; they get a pat on the back and it’s unfair, and that’s why I’m here to talk about it and help empower others.”