Introducing Shanel Esaloo to the FRĒDA WOMAN series
Can you give us insight on your background and how you started working with 11 Honoré?
At the beginning of my career, I was fortunate to serve as an intern at a fashion company that then hired me on as their assistant buyer on their ‘curve’ buying team, which bought clothes for the plus-size sector of their company. My time there was valuable, and I learned a lot, but after serving as an assistant buyer for one year, I was fortunate enough to move to 11 Honoré’s buying team as their assistant buyer.
What does inclusivity in fashion mean to you?
To me, it means that everyone can have the same chance to dress themselves up in amazing clothing (at any size), work in fashion (at any company they dream of), walk any runway, and have equal opportunities at any size and gender to achieve anything in the fashion realm.
What makes 11 Honoré special to you and fashion?
11 Honoré is special to me because they are trailblazers in offering plus size clothing in designer styles that even I can dress up in as a size 16/18. I can achieve whatever look I want in varying price ranges and styles other sizes get to wear. The best part is I get to work for them now and be a part of this amazing journey!
I believe 11 Honoré has the same meaning to fashion - we are making it happen and holding hands with our designer partners by working together to offer women anywhere from sizes 12-26 pieces that they can express themselves and feel good in!
11 Honoré has a lot to be proud of by being the trailblazer in plus-sized commerce, what makes you proud of the team or community?
I am so proud of being a part of this community whose voices are being heard and where there is progress in inclusivity on all sorts of platforms in fashion. From social media to fashion week, we are seeing a shift in inclusivity that makes me so excited to be a part. I am so proud of the 11 Honoré team for working hard through this pandemic, and long before that to hustle and sustain this amazing company that has so much potential to grow. The launch of our 11 Honoré private label was just the beginning for our company - we are adding a ton more designers onto our designer roster that want to work with us on extending their beautiful styles in extended sizing on our website. I am excited to see what is in store for this great company that I am so honored to work for.
What or who inspires you?
People who are confident in who they are and encourage others to be the same is who inspires me. I was blessed to attend Curvycon for two years in a row and found that the community of women coming together to celebrate their bodies, in all shapes and sizes, is so inspirational. I have always been confident in my own skin, but to see that there are women who are fighting against size exclusivity in the fashion world is something that sparked the fire under me as well. Companies that strive towards being more inclusive also inspire me - it is encouraging to see all of these efforts paying off when you see companies starting to expand and offer inclusive clothing options for their customers.
What does women supporting women mean to you?
Women supporting women means exactly that. Instead of tearing each other down and being out to get one another in whatever we are trying to achieve, we can come together and be “on the same team.” In this sense, we create this community and become stronger together to achieve anything that we desire. If we desire change, we can come together and make noise about something - our voices will be louder together.
What have you learned from women in your life or women you’re inspired by?
My mother has always encouraged me - in her eyes, I was never a “plus-size” girl. I was beautiful and could wear and achieve whatever I wanted to. My looks did not hold me back from the chances others had as well. I gained my confidence from her - I can achieve any dream that I would have with nothing holding me back. My parents have been my support system throughout my whole life, and they are still my support system as my career has taken off.
My current boss is someone that inspires me - she has mentored me, taken me under her wing, and has believed in me to become better at what I do. She has given me this opportunity to work with her at 11 Honoré, and for that, I am ever so grateful. She has taught me to work passionately and to take pride in the work that you do. She has had years of amazing experience, and I look up to becoming like her in the merchandising realm and hopefully mentoring and teaching someone myself one day.
Can you share advice or lessons you’ve learned for fellow women looking to break into the fashion industry?
I would say that interning was such a valuable part of my career path so far - when you intern, make sure that you treat every day as if you are a part of that company. Show pride, passion, and of course, professionalism behind your work, and it will show. For me, it was always important to know everyone in the company by name and be kind to whomever I cross paths with. By doing so, you can make a ton of lasting connections that will hopefully lead you to other opportunities one day.
Can you share outfit details and a little bit about each look?
Here I am wearing a white shoulder tank from Eloquii, black Derek Lam 10 Crosby cargo pants, and the ACE boot from FRĒDA SALVADOR. I am obsessed with this look from head to toe for Fall, all on-trend pieces that are so easy to also mix and match with the rest of your closet. For colder days, you can always throw on a jacket and head out the door, three pieces that make such a cute ensemble.
I am wearing a Baacal slip skirt and a Derek Lam 10 Crosby blouse, which can be found on 11 Honoré and with the amazing FRĒDA SALVADOR ACE boot. I think the colors and prints for this look are essential for your Fall wardrobe. The animal print blouse, with the basic slip skirt, and the classic twist on the lace-up boot are all wardrobe staples for this season.
Here I am wearing our 11 Honoré private label blazer, a white tank, jeans from Warp + Weft, and the JUANA loafer from FRĒDA SALVADOR. A perfect work from home or errand running comfy look and on-trend for Fall.
Here I am wearing the Juan Carlos Obando trench dress with the FRĒDA SALVADOR JUANA loafer. This look is perfect for a day to night transition. The trench is so chic matched with the loafers to give you this tonal look from head to toe while hitting all of the best trends for Fall.