Behind every success story...
…is a rocky boatload of people with an irrational amount of goodwill. When I first conceived the idea of the Uniform Project, I’d never imagined the kind of attention it would amass. Nor was I prepared to cope with its escalating momentum while juggling a stressful full-time job. But, as fate would have it, just as the project took on a life of its own, it brought me a handful of special humans who stepped in behind the scenes, helping out in a million myriad ways, making sure that the Uniform Project remained a true labor of love. Some came and went, some stayed longer, and a handful turned into life-long friends. I’m eternally grateful to every single person who touched this project one way or another.
Thank you Tara St. James aka Study New York, early supporter, designer extraordinaire, and infinite reservoir of knowledge on ethical and sustainable production… for stepping into the eye of the storm to help us through dress production challenges, and for leading us into Year 2 as we designed new LBDs for each of our pilots. Mary Nally a la Scary, for the best overnight pit stop in Galway, for being the indispensable creative spark that I needed (on my best days and my worst), for the funds you raised, for the fierce fashion, for the epic parties, and for the tough blows you took… thank you. Maximón Monihan for his unassailable optimism and unconditional support throughout the project (and every day since), and for single-handedly bringing us a half a million views through the U.P picture book movie. Jessica Engle a la Wasabipear, for her spark and savvy, for the many long, hard hours she contributed in the thick of it, and for slaying the LBD challenge as a U.P pilot. Blue Thomas, for stepping in when I was high n dry and devoid of Captcha, for building the U.P online platform and for fortifying it against fishers and spammers. Darcey Howard, for spearheading us towards the future and taking the lead in the face of new entrepreneurial challenges. Lou Sagar, for offering his guidance, his time and his beautiful Soho space through the many chapters of this project. Eliza Starbuck for the early days, for making my dress, and for the tough challenges that led us to grow as individuals. Dustin Whitney for the early day barters, building the first phase of the U.P site.
A second year of U.P was possible because of the 8 special women who stepped up to take on the LBD challenge themselves. Thank you Summer Rayne Oakes, Sara Jones, Jessica Engle, Aki Goto, Isis Salam, Angie Johnson, Leslie Arfin and Bobbi Salvör Menuez for bringing your rare concoction of style and spirit to this creative experiment.
Thank you to the eBay Green Team, for stepping in and showing how an organization can back a creative endeavor with no capitalizing agenda other than their mission.
A special thank you to Shruthi Vyas for being our friendly point of contact to the fantastic mission we were raising money for. And to Vandana Goyal, Shaheen Mistri and the entire Akanksha team for transforming the futures of the many abandoned children of India.
And to the kids, for giving this project it’s raison d’etre.
Lastly, thank you to the hundreds of thousands of U.P supporters who spanned the globe — from Australia to Canada, from Japan to Brazil. And a very special shout-out to the U.P regulars whom we came to know so well, by how you signed off each day in the comments (you know who you are.) You went to bat for us every time someone trolled on us, you campaigned and rallied for us on the dull days, you shut down the haters with nothing but infectious love. Looking back, it’s hard to imagine that this project predated instagram and yet was able to find itself such a fierce community full of integrity, wit and loyalty. The comments section of the U.P dailies will always remain a true testament of what an online community should be. In the post-truth moment of today, where the internet has become ground zero for the fake fuckeries of the powers that be, I will always look back upon the U.P community as a true utopia. Thank you for showing us that it is possible.