I remember going to the Gap when I was in the fifth grade, and I desperately wanted a pair of blue jeans. I was with my dad, and I remember picking up the jeans, looking at them, and thinking that they had to fit me. But there was nothing that fit me. This was before the age of stretch, so I was trying on adult Gap.
I wasn't scouted in the mall as a kid; it just kinda happened naturally 'cause of Instagram and New York and being visible, which is cool. Things just started rolling in. Timing was in my favour 'cause the Internet acted as a catalyst for the fashion industry to change and be more open 'cause people demanded it.
The International Girl Crew isn't supposed to be super exclusive - that's a really important part of our brand and message. It's not just our crew - it's a lifestyle. It's for everybody to know how empowering it is to be surrounded by friends who motivate and support you and who you feel like you can exchange ideas with and do projects with.
New York has influenced me a lot in terms of my own independence. I'm really struck by the idea of authenticity, and I think New York embodies that idea, even though people are like, 'I miss the old New York.' But at its core, it has this natural, authentic energy. L.A. lacks that idea; it's painted over.