Every time Robin Harris went shopping, she exited the mall exactly how she entered it – empty handed.
Standing at 6’0, the model, who once walked the Fashion Fair runways, struggled to find clothing that fit her statuesque physique.
“When I would try to buy coats, the sleeves would be too short,” she exclaimed. “I thought, ‘I’m tall, and I’m not apologizing for it!’”
The 33-year-old wasn’t the only one suffering. She had encountered many women throughout her career who faced the same issue.
That’s when the light bulb in her head went off.
“I decided to create a fashion line with some basic pieces that were the appropriate length for women 5’8 and taller,” she said. “I called it Model Atelier, and it was a hit!”
She successfully organized her first pop-up shop in her Chicago hometown last October, and she’s been marketing her brand all across the United States ever since, stopping in cities including Boston and Austin.
This is only the beginning for the busy mother and wife. She’s reaching new heights, and plans to make women feel beautiful about themselves no matter their size.
Read on for a peek inside Harris’ Model Atelier world.
The Designer: Robin Harris
The Line: Model Atelier
The Mission Statement: “Model Atelier is an independently owned luxury clothing brand that goes the extra length for women 5’8” and taller. It offers feminine fashions inspired by the latest runway trends. The sizes are from 0-12, along with an impeccable “made to measure” atelier service. The Model Atelier team features fashion models who work together to produce the finest clothing, content, and style for tall women.”
The Team: “It’s a small group. I work with a couple of interns and some of my model friends to make it happen. I’m the lead designer, so I’ll research what’s trending. Afterwards, I’ll sketch it on paper, send it through the fabric and sewing process and try the products on my model buddies. It’s as simple as that.”
The Price Tag: “It ranges from $90 – $1,000.”
The Model Atelier Woman: “I base my collection around the women of today. They are powerful. They are executives. They are sultry yet sophisticated. There are a lot of things that make up millennial women. You might see her in a business suit by day and see her in a cutout dress at night.“
The Dream Clients: “It would be Michelle Obama, Laila Ali and Caitlyn Jenner. I love strong, confident, and, of course, tall women.” The Pop-Up Shops: “We’ve done pop-up shops in Chicago, Boston and Austin. I’m working on my next pop-up being in Amsterdam. They actually have the tallest population of women. I also have New Orleans on my list. We get huge response everywhere we go. People love it.“
The Future: “I’d like to open a flagship store in my hometown and expand to many other areas. I also want to use my runway experience to help others who want to enter the fashion industry. I’m working on a model bag collection. It’s a bag that includes all of the modeling essentials needed to go to a casting, a go-see or other fashion events. I’m really excited about it.”
The Fall Attire Must-Haves: “You need the perfect trench coat that’s going to go with anything. You must have a pencil skirt. And the blanket capes are in now. We have this beautiful Milano knit blanket cape that’s trimmed in vegan leather. You can wear it over all of your pieces, you can belt it or wear it loose. You can’t go wrong with those three.”
The Overall Message: “I want women to know that you should own your height. You can wear what the average girl wears and still look beautiful. Embrace every part of yourself.“