Kim Kardashian West is keeping it real.
Her new lineup of Skims Solutionwear models is out and it includes real women — like former inmate Alice Marie Johnson.
“Look at the most amazing model ever @AliceMarieFree modeling for @Skims launching September 10!” Kardashian West tweeted Friday, with a video of Johnson in the Skims Sculpting Bodysuit.
Kardashian West found out about Johnson and her story by way of social media in 2017. The sixtysomething Tennessee woman had been sentenced to life in prison plus 25 years without the possibility of parole in 1996 on nonviolent drug charges.
According to a representative for Kardashian West, “Kim was moved to take action.” The reality star and entrepreneur even paid a trip to the Oval Office to ask President Trump to grant Johnson clemency. Johnson was freed on June 6, 2018.
Now Johnson is making her modeling debut.
“This shapewear makes me feel free,” Johnson said in the video. “This shapewear makes me feel that I can walk into the store, that I can pick up something that I normally wouldn’t even think about wearing and I can put it on and it’s going to look great on me.”
Skims Solutionwear features 26 women telling stories “about why they love their bodies and how Skims empowers them to feel the best version of themselves,” according to a statement.
In addition to Johnson, Skims’ lineup includes models of all shapes and sizes — and ages — like Anette Marweld, Arame Fall, Ashourina Washington, Mia Kang, Roxy Reyes, Sami Miró and Kardashian West herself, in addition to author Arielle Estoria, beauty entrepreneur Kristen Noel Crawley, fashion blogger Stephanie Hjelmeseth and actress Teni Panosian, among others.
Kardashian West revealed plans for a new shapewear collection in June.
At the time, she said she had been working on the “solution-focused approach to shape-enhancing undergarments” for 15 years and intended to name it “Kimono.”
But the name quickly caused a backlash on social media and within hours, the Internet exploded with accusations of cultural appropriation, since the brand’s planned name was the same as that of the traditional Japanese garment.
Kardashian apologized, promising to rename the line at a later date. On Monday she revealed the brand would be renamed Skims Solutionwear.
“My fans and followers are a huge inspiration to me — I’m always listening to their feedback and opinions, and am so grateful they shared their ideas for a new brand name,” Kardashian wrote on Twitter.
And the timing might be right. The buzz around shapewear — and things like bodysuits — continues to gain traction amid the casualization of fashion and consumers’ increasing desire for comfort.
A representative for Skims declined to give further details except that the pieces will be available in sizes XXS to 5XL at Skims.com.
But the representative did add that “Kim was thrilled to feature Alice” in the campaign. And it seems Johnson was thrilled to participate.
“I didn’t even know who Kim Kardashian was,” said Johnson, who wrote a book about her incarceration that included a forward by Kardashian West. “She went to war for me, to fight for me. That’s why I call her my war angel.”