Fashion Meets Activism With Cara Santana’s New Collection
Actress, entrepreneur, producer, writer and activist Cara Santana is striking out on her own and out of the shadow of big retailers by creating her own fashion collection, to be sold online directly to consumers a price point of under $100. The collection was set to launch as a second season in partnership with Kohl’s, but due to the effects of COVID-19 Kohl’s could not move forward so Santana took it into her own hands to see the collection to life with Reunited Clothing and Hilda Batayneh.
“The truth is, this was the second season of that partnership. However COVID-19 single handedly dismantled the fashion industry, and because of that Kohl’s could no longer support my collection, but the buy had been made, and the clothes had been produced. So I thought to myself, I could walk away from this and maintain reliance on corporate America, or I could take the risk and release this collection direct to consumer independently. And as scary as that decision was, if I’m going to talk the talk, I can’t be afraid to walk the walk. So I said, “let’s go for it.” Women need to be empowered to take risks, and be willing to dismantle our power structures and feel like they have a voice, and I wanted to represent that,” explained Santana.
The collection is size inclusive and is made for every body. “The campaign was inspired by the versatility of identities women embody, all of us multifaceted and unique. Each piece of the collection was named by taking commonly used micro-aggressions women hear and making them our own, as opposed to allowing them to define us. As a woman I chose to define myself and I want to empower all women to do the same,” Santana Said.
For Santana, who is currently starring in the critically acclaimed Starz’s series, Vida, this line is more than just a fashion collection, it’s a medium to inspire others to take action, have conversations and give back. A percentage of profits from the collection will go back to Step Up, a non-profit which assists young girls in under-resourced communities. Additionally, Santana is asking all women to #PayItFashionForward. “I am asking all women to #PayItFashionForward with a call to action to donate clothing from their closet directly or through a local organization. Giving back and supporting each other as a community is an integral part of this collection,” Santana says. No stranger to activism, after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in 2017, Santana traveled to the island to assist with small business relief efforts. She has advocated for awareness of separated families at the U.S.-Mexican border and supports numerous organizations including UNICEF, the ASPCA and The Humane Society.
In addition to these efforts, Santana plans to launch a content series around important conversation that women are having today. I’ve long had the idea to take a group of women in my life that I look up to and sit down and have a conversation about what it is to be female, what it is to be a woman of color, what it is to be a mother, and a wife, and a business woman in the profession of fashion, beauty and entertainment,” Santana said. “I feel like the first step of change is really having those conversations, and for other women to see that they’re not alone, so that they can feel empowered. I am so fortunate to know so many amazing truly incredible women and I get so much out of the women in my life, I know everyone would as well.”