Celia Dodge, she is the inspiration for this entire campaign. Celia and me realised we were the same person in two different bodies with a slight age gap, the very first day we met. Celia saw a photo of one of my models in a crop top and wrap pants, and she immediately told me she wanted to wear the exact same outfit. She felt the crop top would be ideal for her, since it would show off her waist, which was the smallest part of her body. Did I mention Celia is 72 years old?
When I design, I imagine a woman with a certain personality. Someone who has love for living her life to the fullest, she loves to travel and is aware of the world, and embraces culture. She does not fit into a specific age group. She could be in her 20’s or she could be in her 70’s. When Celia said she wanted to be in a photoshoot, I thought it was amazing because she was the personality that I design for. She loves her life, lives it to the fullest, loves to travel, meet people from across the globe and embrace their culture.
I was supposed to conduct an interview with Celia, but it ended up being a very encouraging, funny and heartfelt conversation. So the format of this post will be a bit different.
Celia: It was so much fun doing the photoshoot, the room was filled with love and alot of community, I’ve known Brandon for a while, and he thinks I’m nuts, so that let me be me, which was ok 🙂 I’m nervous about this interview, I read the other posts on the other women, and they are intelligent and had amazing stories to share. I’m not sure how to sound intelligent or if I have impressive stories of women who inspired me, to share. So my husband told me, ‘You be you, and that will be enough’.
AMU: You are an amazing person, and I believe you have an incredible story to share! And you being you is definitely more than enough! Did you have a woman in your life who inspired you?
Celia: I had a good relationship with my parents, more so with my Dad than my mother. I was an only child, a daughter and my Dad raised me to be self sufficient. He told me, you may not find a man, so you better learn everything and how to take care of yourself. Before I got my driving license, my father taught me how to change spark plugs, change the oil and a flat tire.
Things were different with my mother however, I know she loved me but I don’t think she liked me very much. My friends didn’t fully understand our relationship. It took a lot from me as an adult to forgive her, and have conversations with her to come to peace with our relationship. I did not measure upto what she wanted from a daughter. I guess she wanted a girly girl, and I wasn’t that.
She used to say that I was very much like my Dad, but with a tone of disapprovement. She loved my Dad, but it still hurt. It was difficult for me to find female friendships.
My father always told me ‘Be the best of who you are, and be you. If that’s not good enough for others, then that’s their problem, not yours. You be steadfast’. There weren’t women who inspired me growing up. But my Dad was my role model.
AMU: One thing that draws me to you, is that you are 72 years old, but you live like you have another 50+ years to live, ha! There is so much joy and passion in whatever you do. How do you have such an upbeat personality?
Celia: Everyday is a new day, it’s a good day, so get off your butt and do things. There is a lot to do, and you just need to keep on moving. As long as you have the ability, keep doing things. I love being positive, but I still have moments where I feel low and sad, along with other normal emotions. I love people, especially young people. Young people have an innocence and they see things with a new perspective, its amazing! My philosophy is to be the person you wish someone was to you, at their age. Another thing is if you fall on your face, then fall on your face. So what?! Just get up and try again. Nothing is ever that bad.
AMU: You are definitely the person I needed in my life when I was younger! Older women, when they see my clothes, they say it is for young women. How did you feel wearing AMU?
Celia: I felt amazing! They made me happy! I feel your clothes are meant for people who have a joie de vivre, that’s french, even though I’m Italian, ha! I don’t mean people who are blooming idiots, but genuinely happy with their lives and have an insatiable interest in people. People are important and not things. And we cannot live in a bubble.
Celia is wearing the White Pintuck Top and Blue Floral Wrap Pants.
Photographer: Brandon Brown from Roost Photography
Make Up Artist: Jessi Rivera- Walz from www.instagram.com/_river.rose/
The photo Celia saw and decided she would like to wear the same outfit and do a photoshoot