Ambassador Spotlight: Alexandra Ayaub
Here at Slick Chicks we believe our ambassadors are the forefront of our success. Our ambassadors are chosen based on their impactful missions to help better society and better themselves in the process. Our ambassadors are dedicated to their communities and for that (and more), we are proud to have them as the main representatives of our brand.
Alexandra Ayaub is a writer, blogger, and strong advocate for a more inclusive fashion industry. Through her blog The Nines, Alexandra writes on inclusivity in luxury fashion, note-worthy beauty products, social rights movements, and more. Below Alexandra gives us further insight into her passion for fashion, the beginning of The Nines, and what empowers her daily:
Briefly introduce yourself in one to two sentences.
My name is Alexandra Ayaub, I am the creator of The Nines, which started as a fashion blog, but has turned into a hub not just for fashion, but also for beauty, lifestyle and accessibility. I’m from Michigan but currently live in Las Vegas with my husband, dog, and unhealthy coat collection.
Why did you begin The Nines? Have the topics heavily featured in your blog (fashion, beauty, lifestyle) always been interests of yours?
I started The Nines right after college, when I wanted a creative outlet for myself, outside of my new 9-5. Fashion has been at the forefront of my life from a young age, I always knew I wanted to pursue a career in it. In the last few years, my focus has shifted towards ensuring an accessible future for the fashion industry. As a woman with a disability, I have always loved fashion- but I don’t feel it has always loved me back. We’re going to change that.
How do you spiritually prepare yourself for each day? Do you have a mantra or meditation you do if things ever become overwhelming?
Is dancing considered a meditation? Because that’s how I start each day! Every morning, I do a “daily dance”. I love dancing, and there’s been many times in my life when I physically couldn’t- so I like to remind myself every day what a gift it is to be able to move my body. Plus- I can’t recommend enough starting your day with some Britney Spears or Megan Thee Stallion- instant mood boost.
How do you empower yourself?
Empowering myself is still something I’m working on. Growing up with a disability, I often felt small, weak. Even in just the last few years, viewing my disability as an asset, and not a weakness, has been incredibly empowering. When I am feeling down or in pain, I try to be gentle with myself, and remind myself of the strength I hold when I listen to my body and give it what it needs. Being able to love yourself enough to value your body, not because it’s slender or tall or fit, but simply because it belongs to you, is such an empowering act.
How do you process and deal with any critics you may have?
I’ve been really lucky in finding an incredibly supportive community, online and in real life. On rare occasions, I get a message from some internet troll with too much time on their hands, I remind myself that it’s not about me, it’s about them. The good will always outweigh the bad, so don’t let the bad weigh you down!
Where does your overall determination come from?
I find determination from wanting to create something that I wanted so badly when I was younger. A more accessible, diverse fashion industry. I don’t want “accessibility” to be a marketing gimmick for brands. I want it to become the norm- that offering adaptable clothing, and featuring models with disabilities, is the standard of retail, not a heroic act. I’ve been really determined lately to take that into the beauty space as well. The beauty industry has not made the turn yet of more accessible packaging, or even featuring models with disabilities. It’s past time!
What is your relationship with social media?
….Don’t check my screen time.
Your Instagram page is filled with images of your bright, fun, and quirky style. Do you have any specific interests or influencers that inspire your style?
Earlier last year, I unfollowed a bunch of very big influencers. I had to ask myself, what are they influencing me to do? I realized it was all making my life, my clothes, my everything, not seem like enough. Following them made “perfect” seem like the norm, which made “good”, not enough. I did a total purge of who I was following, and I truly love now that when I log in every day, I see women that inspire me. Not inspiring me to upgrade my closet, but women that are talking about the things they’re passionate about, or sharing their small business, or just speaking candidly on how they’re feeling. I’m a firm believer that fashion is personal, and it’s meant to be fun. That’s how I approach my own style- am I having fun? Is it true to who I am? Getting dressed is so much more fun when you do it for yourself. For style, I love following small fashion businesses, like @youresocoup, and for beauty, I worship @heymichellelee. For amazing art and just pure joy, @thecoycollection never fails!
Why does representation matter for you?
It matters because it gives you a sense of belonging, and all humans inherently need that. When you love something, like fashion, beauty, sports, even television or film, and you never see someone that looks like you, it takes away that sense that you can be a part of it. I struggled for a long time- and still do- to feel like part of the fashion industry. I never saw anyone with a mostly invisible disability, I never heard their stories. I’m beginning to, and it makes me feel more determined than ever to be a part of the change.
What do you love about Slick Chicks?
Well, the first time I came upon Slick Chicks I teared up. After a major surgery I had in high school, the number one thing I struggled with finding was underwear. I had a device that made it impossible to slide anything down my leg, so I needed something that opened and closed at the hip. Because we couldn’t find anything like that, my mom would buy bulk packs of underwear from the store, cut them all at the sides, and we would fasten with a safety pin. For almost a year I had that metal pin digging into my hip! Slick Chicks is not only a solution to a major issue, but it’s an act of humanity. People with disabilities shouldn’t be left to feel like an afterthought, like an invisible group of people whose needs can’t be met by the fashion industry. They belong- I belong. And it took me years to figure that out. I’m so grateful to Slick Chicks for helping me get there.
You can find Alex on Instagram and through her blog, The Nines.
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