LAUREN & MARIEL ARMSTRONG

        

                                                                  Photography by Chris Thorn


LAUREN & MARIEL ARMSTRONG

Age:  Mariel – 25 | Lauren – 30

Occupation:  Founders of PARTYSKIRTS by SKOT

Describe yourself in under 100 words.

M : I would say that I am guarded and shy, but only for a second. Once you get to know me I am happy, silly and quirkier then you would expect. I am patient and calm. My mom says I was born with a smile on my face and its still there!

L : We often say that I shoot for the moon and Mariel drives the spaceship with PARTYSKIRTS. I am creative, quirky and kind. I love green juice, pizza, and I collect bug brooches.

LaurenA-1If you had to describe your RAW shoot in one word what would it be?

M: Authentic.

L: Fun! I have never minded the camera!

What surprised you most about the experience?

M: I was really nervous! I always get a little camera shy prior to a photo shoot but I was extra nervous about this one.

L: The few days leading up to the experience I really thought about what I was putting on my face everyday. It was shocking how many times I went to reach for lip stick and face powder when I don’t consider myself to be someone that wears much make-up!

What is your definition of ‘beautiful’?

M: I think someone who is beautiful is confident and comfortable with themselves.

L: Being comfortable in your own skin.

When do you feel most beautiful?

M: When I am all done up!

L: In nature with the sun beaming on my face!

From an outsiders perspective your life looks pretty much perfect! Successful fashion line, glamorous trips to NYC and LA and a beautiful sister as your partner in crime for work. Do you ever have moments when your life doesn’t exactly measure up to your instagram page?

L: OF COURSE! To be honest most of the time we are wearing our work out clothes in hopes of making it to yoga or the gym at some point of the day. We are a two woman show – so that means we answer every email, mail every skirt, and take every call about PARTYSKIRTS. It’s a lot of work! Traveling has been one of the perks of starting our own company but it has also been the most exhausting part.  We travelled so much our first year I just want to stay home now!!!

Have you ever felt pressure from guys to look a certain way?

M: Yes, I feel like I have at many points of my life. When I was younger I cared more about appearing the way I thought guys would find me most beautiful. Now I definitely do my own thing more and don’t think about my physical appearance in their eyes.

L: For sure! Having long blond hair was sort of a safety net all of my life, I rebelled a year ago by going the most vibrant shade of red. It didn’t last long but it was fun to change my appearance so drastically.

Lauren RAW TALKIf you had to name three things that you think the average guy is looking for in a woman, what would you say?

M: I feel like the average guy’s list would consist of physical attributes. But I would like to think they are looking for a sense of humor, confidence, and someone who is loving.

We’s like to think that too!  On average how much do you spend each month on cosmetic items such as make-up, hair cuts/colouring, waxing, clothing, nails, tanning, creams etc.

M: $400

L: $300

Lauren-Mariel-2

Have you ever struggled with confidence, body image or insecurities in your life? 

M: Yes, I have always struggled with really bad eczema. A few years ago it got so bad that i covered 80{f31dd2d1944685ce2ae88154a0fca4e838c1d5c4feb0a8c87e0077bbf24e5273} of my face and neck and the majority of my arms. Not only was I in extreme physical pain, mentally it was really difficult. I barely left the house. When I went out, people would just stare at me. One day, someone at school asked me if I had been in a fire. That was the last straw. The next day I took some time off school to figure out what was going on and try to get better. Luckily today, the issue is 1/10 of at that time in my life but it opened my eyes to the fact that so many people deal with skin issues all the time and it really made me sympathize with them.

L: Of course! I really struggled with my body image when I was a teenager when my body was changing. I was restrictive with food and very critical of myself. It took a lot of work, discovery, and self love to go through that time but I am really thankful that I did. I was able to come out of it with a better understanding of who I am on the inside rather than outside.

Mariel2What kind of relationship did/does your mother have with herself in regards to beauty, confidence and self-love? 

L: We are so fortunate to have a mother that truly believes in aging gracefully. She just had her 60th birthday and she has never looked better. She has taught us to wear sunscreen, always stay active, and of course live life to the fullest. Everyone looks their best when they are having fun!

Have you ever had cosmetic surgery or treatments?    

M: No, I haven’t. I don’t really have a strong opinion on or against cosmetic surgery. I feel like everyone has the right to make their own decision and if that is something they need to do to help them feel more comfortable in their skin then no one should tell them it isn’t okay. That being said, everything in moderation.

L: No, no, no! Over our mothers dead body!

As the Co-Founders of SKOT Apparel and PARTYSKIRTS you mentioned that one of the things you aim to do with your clothing line is to instil confidence in girls which we love!  Have you ever used a “curvier” model in any of your ad campaigns and if not, would you consider doing so in the future?

We really feel like PARTYSKIRTS is a total confidence booster and we can say that because we have had hundreds of girls tell us now how amazing they feel when they put their skirt on. The item really is great for so many different body types because there is only one point of fit! We have girls of all shapes and sizes wearing PARTYSKIRTS. We have not done a campaign with curvier models yet, but it is something we have talked about and we recently expanded our size run so I could see it happening in the near future.

What are your thoughts on using Photoshop for advertising purposes?  Do you ever use it to change the appearance of the girls who model your clothes?

We would never use photoshop to change the appearance of the girls that we use to model our products. We actually meet the girls we work with before we shoot with them and try to get to know them a bit as well, a great personality is just as important as how they look. My sister and I just did a photoshoot in the desert in our Spring 2014 collection. It is so important to showcase “real” girls in our skirts.

At the end of the day, what brings you more confidence: success in business or looking good? 

M: I feel like success in business brings me more confidence. It is a amazing feeling knowing that we are living our dream and succeeding at it!

Mariel RAW TalkStay Connected with Mariel & Lauren

Instagram Handles: marielarmstrong & misslvaPARTYSKIRTS

Twitter Handles: marielarmstrong & misslva & PARTYSKIRTS

Partyskirts Website: www.skotapparel.com

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    RAW strives to help women everywhere find confidence in their unique beauty by advocating for transparency in media and providing a platform for honest, authentic conversation. We want every girl to feel comfortable in her own skin so that she can take on the world and live life to the fullest.
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