Social-media maven Nadia Aboulhosn has her own fashion blog, hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram and Facebook, and she does collabs with brands on the reg. As a role model for women of all sizes, she was the perfect fit for a new fall collaboration with plus-size retailer Addition Elle. The 14-piece capsule collection is described as "luxe military meets Mad Max" and ranges in size from 12 to 24. The clothing is available at Addition Elle this month (coinciding perfectly with Aboulhosn's 27th birthday on September 12!). Aboulhosn sat down with us at the brand's Yonge Street store in Toronto to chat about her inspiration, body positivity and making her way in the world of fashion.
What is your favourite part about being involved with this collection? Addition Elle understands me. I said I wanted something military, so they had mood boards ready when I arrived [for brainstorming the collection]. Sometimes brands don't get it, but we've been working together for so many years. Why did you pick military as your inspiration? I have a lot of family members that are in the military. My brother was in the army for five years and I was always obsessed with his uniforms and camo. Do you have a favourite piece from the collection? Yes. The trench dress. You can unbutton it so you can show the whole leg off. You can wear it with strappy sandals or thigh-high boots. It's sexy. It reminds me of Angelina Jolie in Mr. and Mrs. Smith. You have so many followers on social media. What are some of the most popular questions that you get asked? A lot of people ask me about shapewear, but I don't wear any. This is how my body is shaped. That's the number one question. People also ask how to wear crop tops. I usually wear mine with high-waisted pants, shorts or a pencil skirt. Anything high waisted is really flattering. That way you don't overexpose. Do you have people ask you a lot about body issues and body positivity? Absolutely. I actually get scary ones sometimes, about suicide. There are tons of times when I get on FaceTime calls with people. If it's somebody that really needs to talk, I have no problem stopping my day. Even if I'm in the car, I put you on my headset and talk to you. I know what it's like to feel alone. I think that's why people relate to me so much. We all have things that we don't like about ourselves, but we need to accept those things and love ourselves for who we are. There are other body-positive people out there like Gabi [Fresh] and Nicolette [Mason] and Ashley Graham. What have you found is your most popular content? When I'm half naked. I'm being honest! Because some people are so afraid to be, not even just plus-size girls. Some people feel insecure because there is such a high standard for beauty right now. There's also slut shaming that comes with [wearing skimpy clothes]. It's so easy for me that it's weird in my head that it's so difficult for other women. How do you balance your personal life with your career? I wasn't balancing it well when I was in New York because there was so much work all the time. I was getting depressed and becoming somebody I wasn't, so I cancelled my lease and moved in with my mom in Florida. My parents keep me humble. My boyfriend's amazing. I have such a great support system. If you have a good support system, what everyone else says doesn't matter. Who would you say are your biggest role models? My mom and dad. They're really hard workers. I love Oprah. I watch a lot of Tony Robbins. Kanye West is huge because he was boxed in to just music and he wanted to branch out and do something different like fashion. I've watched a ton of his interviews, so he has been influential for me. Angelina Jolie helps refugees in the Middle East and Africa. That's something I've wanted to do since college. I was going to get a bachelor's degree in journalism with a focus in middle eastern studies, so I respect her so much. Any Canadians that you admire? Karyn from Killer Kurves is a good friend of mine. She's so sweet. She's way too damn nice. She's my favourite Canadian, besides Drake. What kind of advice would you give to someone that wants to start her own blog and do collaborations like you have? A lot of it is trial and error, but what's worked for me is finding something that I love so I have the energy to do it. And finding something that is "your thing." My thing is being myself. A lot of people try to be something that they're not. I think people see through that. You can still be aspirational and be yourself. I put up whatever I want when I want doing whatever I want. For me, it's worked. I tried hiding my personality for years because I thought brands wouldn't want to work with me, but with time I learned that I could be myself and all this great stuff would happen. Photos courtesy of Addition Elle Read more: 15 trendy plus-size clothing pieces for fall (under $150!)