The most memorable brand narratives that I’ve come across are those of local brands that I’ve had the pleasure of working one on one with. Specifically, Vitae Apparel which is a locally made and designed swimwear and fitness company created by Selene Dior. Since the very beginning, the main goal of the company was to empower young girls and women and inspire them to be confident in themselves and their bodies.
The brand initially started just producing swimwear, but it has always been Selene’s long term goal to spread body positivity around the community, so that girls would wear whatever they chose at the beach and feel their absolute best. Instead of using typical modelesque bodies on their Instagram, Facebook, and Website, she’s handpicked bodies of all shapes, sizes and ethnicities from Metro Vancouver and other areas around the world. Building a brand on common insecurities that women underwent and faced allowed for Vitae Apparel to sky rocket in popularity. Not only was a successful company launched, but with it came a large group of beautiful women sharing their stories about what they’ve struggled with. Instead of perpetuating societal standards of body types, Vitae Apparel has taken it upon themselves to show their audience that all women are beautiful despite their jean size, or skin colour. By using Instagram as their main platform to tell a story, they have created a vast amount of engagement by following their target audience as well as speaking out on important matters such as, keeping oceans clean, and the Australian wildfires (Norman, 2020).
Only a couple of years ago, Selene developed a private Instagram and Facebook account strictly for brand ambassadors. The ambassador program offered by Vitae Apparel has allowed young girls and women alike to share their body dysmorphia stories, talk about eating disorders and reach out to others for help. I myself have been incredibly lucky to work with such an inclusive company that values the quality of their audience rather than the quantity. I’ve been able to meet so many inspiring women in the Vitae Apparel community who have helped me with my own personal struggles, rather than pointing them out, they’ve come together to tell me that I wasn’t alone. This kind of storytelling has built a vast amount of trust within their community which goes far past selling swimwear.
I regularly get emails from the company checking in with my well-being. In addition, their Instagram account speaks out on ways to combat stress, workout routines, ambassadors and celebrating feminism as a whole. It brightens my day when I see different body types, and ethnicities on their page! They not only share a story, but they share you and your stories which I believe has accounted for their large amount of success in a short amount of time! Their website is subtle when using the placement of advertising, only using one or two pop up messages for visitors which is important in marketing (Daphne, 2015).
Since their launch, Vitae Apparel has been featured in several publications- including VOGUE UK, Vancouver Swimwear Fashion Week and, on models across the globe. Their rise in popularity meant that they were able to grant more options for their ambassadors, like group trips to Bali, as well as opportunities to be on photo shoots for the company’s Instagram and Website. As Vitae Apparel grows, the Vitae community grows with them which really engages in direct marketing.
Norman, S. (2020) “Conversations: With not At,” week 7 [PowerPoint slides]. Personal Collection of Suzanne Norman. Simon Fraser University, Vancouver.
Stanford, D. (2015). “Neuromarketing” Is Becoming A Much Stronger And More Relevant Trend.” Retrieved from http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2015/12/current-trends-neuromarketing/
Vitaeapparel. (2020, January 5). “Australia Bushfires” [Instagram post]. Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/p/B684HKNnuaK/