Last year at New York Fashion Week, Rancho Santa Fe native and 2003 Torrey Pines High School graduate Carrie Hammer put on a unique fashion show: “Role Models Not Runway Models.”
The fashion show featured models that aren’t typically seen on the runway in an attempt to show that there are many different forms of beauty.
Originally an advertising sales executive, Hammer found that she was constantly struggling to find fashionable and professional women’s clothing. She realized that many of her professional friends shared the same exact problem.
As Hammer began buying custom-made pieces for herself, she was constantly stopped in the street and in meetings about her trendy work wardrobe. It was then that Hammer decided to start her own line.
In 2012, she launched her CARRIE HAMMER line in New York City, catered to professional women of all shapes, sizes and preferences.
Hammer’s line gives women the opportunity to customize dresses and other attire to their liking. Women get their measurements taken and then choose the fabric and color from a wide selection. Mixing and matching from available design elements helps create the perfect look.
There are few professional women’s wear lines that deliver this level of personalization and fashion for workplace attire. In this way, CARRIE HAMMER is incredibly unique.
Since her show last year, Hammer has received a lot of media attention and has had organizations such as Changing the Face of Beauty reach out to her. Actress Jamie Brewer also contacted Hammer.
Hammer felt that Brewer was the perfect person to include in her show because she has Down syndrome. The show was a great opportunity to raise awareness about Brewer’s condition.
The presence of Brewer, as well as other disabled models that work with large organizations such as Clinton Global Initiative, Price WaterhouseCoopers (PWC) and Microsoft, generated a lot of coverage for the show. It was picked up by ABC World News, and talked about on “The Today Show” and “Entertainment Tonight.”
Publications such as Time Magazine, USA Today, and Cosmopolitan also featured articles about the fashion show, and fashion icon Victoria Beckham personally applauded Hammer’s efforts.
This year was the one-year anniversary of “Role Models not Runway Models,” and was a particularly special show for Hammer. This season, Hammer’s mother, Jean, who she describes as her “ultimate role model,” also walked in the show.
Hammer says that a lot of people in fashion are starting to notice her line through the fashion show. This publicity has allowed her to promote diversity on the runway and showcase many faces of beauty, which was her goal from the beginning.
The show is a great step in the right direction in terms of making fashion and beauty standards across the country more realistic and achievable by all.