When I did the model training program with Pure Fashion, I always thought the name did an excellent job of capturing the spiritual side of its mission, conveying a sense of professionalism to outside businesses, and also catching the ears of teenage girls. However, I knew we needed a new name if we were to start up a model training program of our own, in part because it wouldn’t be affiliated with Regnum Christi like Pure Fashion was. Keeping it catchy but professional was a challenge. Making it profound was an even loftier ideal.
After years of letting the question percolate, the name ‘True Style’ finally emerged in a conversation I had with my old roommate Emily. We were sitting on the couch, brainstorming in earnest, knowing that in a few days I’d be meeting with MollyKate Cline, a fashion designer from Ohio whom I hoped would join me as a co-founder.
The conversation took several winding paths, trying on different combinations of words and finding most of them inadequate. Then we started thinking about the historical, cultural icons whom we thought exemplified the grace and classiness that the model academy strives to cultivate. Some names that popped into our heads were Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and Jackie O.
From there, words began to flow more easily. We quickly landed on ‘Style,’ realizing how it captured something broader than just clothing. It encompassed every aspect of how we carry ourselves and present ourselves to the world.
Speaking, walking, decorating our homes, making our friends laugh, expressing our feelings in art: all of these fell under the realm of ‘Style.’ It also had a sense of personality and uniqueness to it, as opposed to fashion’s connotation of popularity and trendiness. Finally, style is less determined by historical accident; style is timeless. As Coco Chanel said, “Fashion changes, but style endures.”
Once we had ‘Style’ as the subject, as the core of what the model academy would teach, we needed to express what made our ‘Style’ unique. We wanted to be pure, authentic, beautiful, timeless, and dignified. Of all of these adjectives, ‘authentic’ seemed to come the closest to the mark. We wanted our models to become the best versions of themselves, not to be concerned with society’s superficial standards of so-called beauty. ‘Authentic’ didn’t have quite the ring we needed, though, and it felt a little too stale, or a little too modernist, depending on your perspective.
The word that hit home was ‘True.’ Our mission is to be true to ourselves by first understanding the truth of who we were created to be. We write our own stories, but we don’t hold ourselves in existence. We’re most fulfilled when we are ‘true,’ when we are living, dressing, and serving others in accord with the plans of the Great Designer.
The name ‘True Style’ is a lofty ideal to live up to. None of us is perfect, and our goal in the Model Academy and Fashion Show is not to look perfect. Instead, we have a sense of peace and trust that despite our flaws, perhaps even because of them, we may be able to draw others closer to understanding their own dignity and vocation. Our hope is to support each other and to inspire others, conveying through our dress and especially through our character what true style is. True style is beautiful and enduring, unique and unrepeatable.