Style Like U
Style Like U
StyleLikeU was founded by mother-daughter duo Elisa Goodkind & Lily Mandelbaum. Before starting StyleLikeU, Elisa Goodkind was a fashion stylist working for top fashion magazines and celebrities. After twenty years in the business, she was frustrated by how the industry, which had once supported artistry and rebellion, had become about selling status, conformity and increasingly formulaic ideals of beauty. At the same time, Elisa’s daughter, Lily, was a teenager struggling deeply with her body image. In an oversaturated media culture dominated by models who looked nothing like her, she was consumed with trying to change herself physically in order to be and look like someone else.
Elisa and Lily chose to create StyleLikeU as an alternative to this disempowering status quo. In 2009, the duo picked up a home video camera and began to document diverse individuals who were challenging fashion industry norms in their style. In 2014, they launched, “The What’s Underneath Project,” a series of docu-style video portraits where people of all ages, races, body types, genders and abilities remove layers of clothing while sharing honest, empowering stories related to style, self-image and identity. With 35+ million views, What’s Underneath has become a viral phenomenon, empowering viewers around the world to reject society’s limited norms and discover a sense of freedom and comfort in their own skin.
With thousands of messages from fans around the world whose lives have been changed by StyleLikeU and who want to share their stories, in 2017, Elisa and Lily are expanding globally, creating international content, hosting open-call What’s Underneath events for the public, facilitating self-acceptance workshops in colleges and communities worldwide, and finishing production on their short documentary, I am What’s Underneath.
Location: Brooklyn, New York
What our clients have to say...
The StyleLikeU workshop was an incredibly moving moment of connection between me and my peers. I was able to open up in ways that I had never before, and connect to people on levels that I normally feel to ashamed to talk about. The workshop helped me come out of my shell, and find power in my body, in ways I never had before, and overall left me feeling stronger in my body than ever before. Getting to learn from the experiences of the StyleLikeU team, and all of our participants, was truly an invaluable opportunity.
- Amelia Goldstein, Bard College
The StyleLikeU workshop not only gave me a supportive place to speak openly about issues of the body, but it gave me a chance to form a community with my peers where we focused on bringing each other up as unique individuals. StyleLikeU may focus on questions of beauty, image, constraint and acceptance, but for me, it did more. It was the first time that I was able to think about myself outside of the realms of physical expectations. It pushed me to realize there are far more important things than beauty, and that style and expression can demonstrate strength, power and courage to the world. It made me realize that it is a waste of energy to focus on 'beauty' when I have the power to do so much more.
- Maggie Berke, Bard College