checkout complete detailed article on Parris Goebel wants to normalize Polynesian women in fashion
In “Power Players,” changemakers in the fashion industry tell Bustle how they’re pushing boundaries and advancing culture, whether they’re advocating for sustainability, bringing more inclusivity to the runway, or advancing technology and innovation. Here, choreographer Parris Goebel discusses representation, brand authenticity, and beauty standards in the industry.
Parris Goebel is “that bitch.” It’s the only label that properly respects her impressive list of achievements. At age 30, Goebel is the genius behind Jennifer Lopez’s 2020 Super Bowl halftime performance, Rihanna’s numerous Savage x Fenty shows, and Justin Bieber’s viral “Sorry” music video, to name a few. . Though she’s already added some of the most sought-after celebrity names to her portfolio, Goebel isn’t content to stay in her lane. Instead, she is making big moves in the fashion industry.
One of her many goals is to undo the narrow beauty standards that have long plagued the fashion world. Taking up space in an industry previously unwelcoming of diverse creatives like her, Goebel recently launched a partnership with UGG, standing out as a brand ambassador and model of the famous footwear brand. Through this new venture, she hopes to normalize Polynesian role models, while helping dancers be seen as the artists and visionaries that they are.
Later, Goebel talks to Bustle about his plans to change the world, from the music industry to fashion and beyond.
Why did you decide to move from choreography to modeling?
Everything I do within dance already has a fashion look to it, so it felt organic. But for me, what’s really important is representation, in the sense of being from New Zealand, being a Polynesian woman and having a place in the fashion world as a Polynesian woman. Putting me in places where I didn’t see [people like myself] when I was a girl is very important to me, because I know that other Polynesian girls in New Zealand will see me and know that she can do it too.
What do you hope to achieve within the world of modeling?
Changing the stereotype of dancers. I feel like we’re not really celebrated in the fashion world, because we’re just seen as dancers who should only be in music videos and award shows. The thing is to break down those walls. Dancers must be seen in the world of fashion, fashion shows and on the catwalk.
How does it feel to see you on billboards now?
I feel like that bitch! Not seeing yourself, growing up, in those places and being the person to help make that change, it just excites me. I’m just doing my little part in history. I’ve worked very hard, so in other respects it’s like they should being there makes me proud, and for me, it’s just the beginning.
How do you select which brands to work with?
Anyone I associate with, it has to be a true collaboration. It has to be a brand that understands me, what I bring to the table and what I stand for. I simply will not work with anyone who I do not feel aligns with my beliefs or who I am as a woman. Working with UGG was amazing, because it was a true collaboration. They gave me the freedom to do what I wanted, from choosing the choreography to choosing the music and selecting the dancers. Those are my favorite types of collaborations: the ones where they don’t put you in a box, they tell you to be yourself and express yourself.
At this point, how do you feel about the future of the fashion industry?
There is still a lot of work to do. The really interesting thing is that, as women, I feel that we are programmed [with] many restrictions. For a long time we have been told what is beautiful and how we should look. It’s quite sad to think [of] how I looked years ago, compared to how I look now, is very drastic. Our generation is now undoing all of that and it takes a lot of work. It’s a frustrating process and I think it’s at least a step in the right direction. Brands are starting to listen and bring diversity to the fore.
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