StyleLikeU: Cult Fashion and Body-positivity Pioneers in Berlin Tomorrow

Founders Elisa Goodkind and Lily Mandelbaum are embracing our weaknesses by turning them into strengths

STYLELIKEU FAM! We have an exciting announcement to make! Next week, we are kicking off a mini European Tour where we’ll be shooting & hosting a series of book signings and events in the UK, France and Germany! Our first stop is London, where next Saturday, July 1, we’ll be shooting What’s Underneath episodes live at the @Gurlstalk event in partnership with @Coach and @Dazed. Londoners, you yourself can be considered for an interview slot with us between 12 and 5pm by posting a photo of yourself on Instagram & tagging @stylelikeu, @gurlstalk and #coachgurls #iamwhatsunderneath with a description of your self-acceptance journey. We’ll be signing books at the event from 5-6, but space is limited, so rsvp@gurlstalk.com ASAP! And if you have any people you’d love to see us interview while we’re in London, Paris or Berlin, tag them in the comments! We’ll also be announcing more events in Paris and Berlin in the days to come. Stay tuned and we can’t wait to meet you!

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Founded by mother-daughter duo, Elisa Goodkind and Lily Mandelbaum, StyleLikeU is a multimedia platform challenging the narrow view of the fashion industry. StyleLikeU is not your typical glossy fashion publication. Rather than trying to sell an unattainable beauty standard, or continually featuring the same models and faces, they have created a forum celebrating an individual’s flaws. StyleLikeU embraces this uniqueness rather than trying to hide it. The duo notes StyleLikeU is about “turning that struggle or that flaw and realizing it’s that amazing thing about an individual.”

It was about a year and a half ago when we first fell in love with Gurlstalk’s founder, @adwoaaboah, while interviewing her for her extraordinary What’s Underneath video. The honest truths she shared with us during her interview exemplified how intimate storytelling can make us feel less alone in our struggles, creating more acceptance of ourselves and others when we share. Tomorrow Adwoa is paying it forward as she holds space for us in London at the Gurlstalk x Coach Festival with @dazed to host a What’s Underneath open call for the public. Londoners, if you want to be pre-considered for an interview slot with us between 12 and 5pm at the festival, post a photo of yourself on Instagram, tagging @stylelikeu, @gurlstalk and #coachgurls #iamwhatsunderneath with a description of your self-acceptance journey. We’ll also be signing books at the event from 5-6, but space is limited, so rsvp@gurlstalk.com ASAP!

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In 2014 the duo developed “The What’s Underneath Project” which is a subsidiary to StyleLikeU. The YouTube series went viral with over 100 episodes and over 35 million views worldwide. The project is a series of interview sessions featuring selected individuals from various ages, genders, races, body types, and abilities. “The What’s Underneath Project” appears like a collective group therapy session conducted by Elisa and Lily. Each participant is asked a series of intimate questions, covering such themes as self-image and personal identity, topics that normally tend to be difficult to discuss. Even though the participants come from various backgrounds, with many individuals in industry and/or the public eye, they share and face the same daily struggles allowing Goodkind and Mandelbaum to conclude namely that no matter what our background we are all united in sharing similar life challenges.

“When I was 15, I lost 30 pounds. That was a dark period in my life. Then, almost a year later, I started gaining a little bit of weight. At that time, gaining that weight was the most embarrassing thing that could happen to me. If I gained 3 pounds, I would snot dripping cry. I feel more attractive than I’ve ever felt, but until this day I have this fear of me walking in somewhere and being like, ‘I hope this person doesn’t notice that I went from a size 12 to a size 14.’ This fear that everyone is looking at you and being like, ‘Oh, she really gained weight. She doesn’t look as good as she used to.’ I feel I am still unlearning all of these things. It’s not an overnight thing, but I am realizing that I can be confident regardless of me gaining weight back. Now, I get to celebrate my body, and celebrate it with hundreds and thousands of people and to help other girls feel better. When I was younger, I thought that if I was going to be successful I would have to lose 30 pounds, so the fact that I’m successful, not only despite my body but because of it has blown my mind.” Barbie Ferreria (@BarbieNox) in our new episode of #WhatsUnderneath. Barbie’s episode is live now on our YouTube channel. Tap the link in our bio to watch now, and join the movement! #IAmWhatsUnderneath #TheSelfAcceptanceRevolution

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Lily Mandelbaum notes the project was developed in order to “make people feel less alone in this image based culture and to make people recognize that they might be more connected to another person after listening to their story than they might have thought at first glance.”

“I got dared to go to a casting call that ended up being for Calvin Klein and when I showed up, they were like, ‘You’re here on the wrong day,’ because they thought I was a guy. They told me to come back the next day and when I did, there were all these guys taking off their shirts. But because I famously showed up late, they didn’t have me take off my shirt. I got casted and when I got to the show, they handed me a pair of underwear and were like, ‘come on, put on your outfit,’ and I was like, ‘Oh shit, this is a men’s underwear show.’ So during rehearsals, I walk out only in underwear, no shirt, no bra, no shoes, tits out swinging side to side. The casting director looked like he was gonna shit himself. He came up to me afterwards and said, ‘Is this your first time modeling?’ and I said, ‘Yes,’ and he said, ‘I couldn’t tell. You’re actually so much better than these other amateur male models that I think you could wear more clothing.’ We both knew what he was saying and so I wore a men’s shirt in the show. Then they put out this blast, ‘One of these models is a woman.’ Suddenly, all these people started reaching out to me and asking me to model. I kept saying no because it was the worst thing you could possibly ask me to do. By turning people down, it caused people to come back around and be like, ‘Well, would you do it for five hundred dollars?’ By not taking any free work or being desperate to work with photographers, I was putting a value on myself. That was a huge turning point in my life because I tended to undercut myself a lot. I used to think that I wasn’t worth very much. I accidentally discovered that self worth and and now I understand that I have a value.”- @RainDoveModel in our newest #WhatsUnderneathProject episode. Rain’s episode is live now on our YouTube channel. Tap the link in our bio to watch now, and join the movement! #IAmWhatsUnderneath #TheSelfAcceptanceRevolution

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Elisa Goodkind and Lily Mandelbaum are currently on a European tour and this week the pair are in Berlin.

Elisa Goodkind and Lily Mandelbaum are currently on a European tour and this week the pair are in Berlin. Even though it is not the most practical piece of luggage, the two have been travelling with a stool, the same stool each participant has sat upon in each of their sessions. Join them this Friday, July 14 at 2pm at the PowerGuide Salon, where StyleLikeU Duo will be discussing their cult style and body empowerment blog, which emphasizes, “flaw or imperfection is part of what makes you a work of art, that freedom and that individuality is reflected in your style.” This project’s groundbreaking position has the power to unleash a newfound freedom in us all encouraging us to embrace our weaknesses and own them, wear them on the outside instead of hiding them within.

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