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Why Khloe Kardashian and Emma Grede Are Only Doing Open Castings For Good American

I’ve had a complicated relationship with denim ever since I started shopping for myself in high school. I love jeans, but finding a pair to fit a petite woman with short legs, thick thighs and a small waist feels pretty much impossible. I had so many tear-inducing meltdowns in store dressing rooms that for a time I gave up and exclusively wore leggings.

About six years into my jeans strike, I was introduced to Good American, the denim brand founded by Khloe Kardashian and Emma Grede on a mission to make jeans that fit for body types just like mine. Their ad campaign stood out to me immediately: women with different body shapes and sizes posing in skinny jeans and serving up tons of attitude. The brand tapped models and celebrities like co-founder Khloe Kardashian for their famed Good Squad, but also body positive activists and influencers Nadia Aboulhosn and Gabi Gregg. They held a nationwide casting call to find everyday people who are tired of crying in dressing rooms — and the result is one of the most inclusive denim campaigns in the market.


When I joined the casting team at the open call in Los Angeles last December, alongside reps from IMG and current Good Squad members, I was told to look for more than a pretty face and a love for denim. Khloe and Emma said they wanted to find ambassadors who were also really making a difference in their respective industries. One woman I met was fighting for “plus size” fashion brands to include sizes larger than an 18, another just switched her major to political science to help advocate for her parents who are American immigrants.

Before their New York Fashion Week panel this Sunday, I sat down with Good American founders Khloe Kardashian and Emma Grede to discuss the future of model casting.

Teen Vogue: Why do you do an open casting when typically brands go through an agency?

Khloe Kardashian: Well, the first year we did it was before we were even anything. I posted something on my Instagram. It was very vague, and we never identified what it was for, we just said “If you’re a woman and if you are confident in yourself, just show up” and that we wanted all different shapes and sizes.

So many women showed up that were authentic in their own skin and from all different walks of life. They would say, “We have gone to so many castings and out of everybody, [Good American] has the most positive energy.” It was really just women empowering other women.

Me and Emma, we were pushing them. You’re not just a Good American model, you’re an ambassador. Yes, you represent us but you represent yourself. Tell us what you want to do. If you want to sing, sing. You’re going to sing at our launch parties, you’re going to sing at our drops. I think it just started and we can’t turn back since our first casting.

TV: A lot of the girls I talked to at the casting were saying “I’m not technically plus, and I’m not thin, I’m kind of in the middle so I’m not represented.” So, tell me why you decided to include a size 15, what was the thinking behind that?

KK: We actually found out through trial and error because we kept getting returns and most of our return rates were between a 14 and 16. One of our designers, she started tailoring all of her Good American denim, and Emma was like, “Why are you tailoring?” If she is tailoring a 16 down, she is not a 14 and she is not a 16. So, we did a focus group and we just paid attention.

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