By: Kymberly Amara
Photos curtesy Tracy Christian
From Megan The Stallion to Lizzo, curves, hips, derriere’s, and more are coming from behind the shadows to be celebrated in all of their glory regardless of shape, size, and width. This newfound wave of energy that celebrates all bodies has been positive, refreshing, and a long time coming to say the least but, is it all positive. Do all bodies truly matter? What is body positivity?
According to the internet, body positivity posits that no matter what society or pop culture deems appropriate, all individuals should feel good about themselves. In theory, this is a great notion but, what do we make of the individual who needs an outfit to wear to an important outing where they will be in the company of notable people (e.g. awards ceremonies). Or, what about the person that just wants to wear something comfortable while on vacation or an outing with friends and needs to get something on the fly?
All of these thoughts and more are why celebrity talent agent, Tracy Christian, decided to create a luxury clothing line that caters to plus-size women during the pandemic. With an overall mission to, “end the crying in the fitting room,” Christian says her vision for Sante Grace was, “…to create a luxury plus-size clothing line, accessible luxury. So, when you go to our website you will see that most of our clothes are made from fine silks, cashmere, fine linens.”
If you want something done, give it to a busy person…
“I’ve always had a hard time finding clothes that fit my lifestyle. The benefit is that I get to go to Cannes, I get to go to the Oscars and things like that and the challenging part is always, what do I wear. If I don’t have something made for the event, I’m in trouble.” To help her navigate this, Christian was fortunate to find a seamstress to help her create her own designs. As such, she is well versed in the fashion world from design/pattern making to opening a fashion business.
It wasn’t until the pandemic hit that Christian says she got the call to start her clothing line despite already being uber-successful running an agency and managing high-profile clients, “When the pandemic hit, I was working just as hard as I always was. Literally one night, I went to bed at three’o’ clock in the morning. I was in bed and my eyes just popped open and I felt like it was the Lord that said, “start your clothing line” and I got up that moment and I went to my laptop, I registered the name and said okay let’s see what’s gonna happen.”
In today’s world of fast fashion, Christian says, “The way clothes are made, like now fast fashion is a thing, so clothes aren’t made with the quality of textiles. They’re not made well, they don’t fit well because they’re really not made for your size or your body. They are made on a size four model and then they just scale up. That’s just not who I am.”
Having always embraced curviness in Black and Latino communities, Christian wants all women to feel sexy, confident, fashionable, and simply be comfortable in their skin.
As a woman of faith, Christian also believes it’s important to be a good steward of the earth and thus the materials are sustainable. Sante Grace upholds ethical work practices and ensures that those who work for the company are paid a livable wage.
What is body positivity…
When asked about how she defines body positivity, Christian says, “Simply said, it’s loving yourself however you are at the moment…when I grew up, for a little bit, you were supposed to be a tiny little thing, light-skinned, with long hair. That’s what you were supposed to be to be attractive and a lot of people did all kinds of things to get as close as they could to that image. And I believe the adversary is in that because that doesn’t build you up, that tears you down.”
Christian understands that she and others will never fit that mold and that no woman will fit one particular mold. Christian believes it’s important for all women to recognize the beauty in themselves regardless of type, shape, and color and if you want to fix something about yourself that’s fine but understand that the foundation of body positivity begins with loving yourself for who you are today.
Another important fact and common misnomer is that body positivity only involves plus-size individuals, especially women. Having worked in the entertainment industry for 25 years, Christian understands that confidence doesn’t necessarily come with acceptance. “Believe me when I tell you, there are women who are size two with perfect figures that are not confident and don’t have body positivity.” With that, the focus shouldn’t be so much on one’s outer appearance but more so on how you feel about yourself internally.
“Fashion changes every few months; style is consistent….you get to decide where you fall.”
For so long plus women were limited and didn’t have options and with this clothing line, Christian is offering women more opportunities. Sante Grace is for the woman who has never felt silk on her body because of her size or the fashion industry refused to invest in this demographic. It is for the woman that leads a fabulous lifestyle and wants the clothes to match. Beyond body positivity, Sante Grace is about beauty, elegance, confidence, and classic fashion. As an expanding lifestyle brand, Sante Grace also offers custom candles that are mood influencing, shoes, jewelry, and more. Christian hopes to offer lingerie soon.