Kaddadia: when body diversity meets elevated basics
Thousands of brands encompassing the apparel and beauty space have embraced body positive messaging in the past decade. While many have fallen victim to criticism over its inherent performativeness, others have become empowered to transform this nuanced term into something more productive—body neutrality.
Among these local body neutrality pioneers is Sabina Yulo, founder of the revolutionary brand Kaddadia and an everlasting champion for body diversity. If you’ve been meticulously on the hunt for everyday basics made to fit your naturally fluctuating body without compromising style and comfort, Kaddadia is a transformative brand that deserves to be on your shopping list.
RELATED: Body Neutrality vs. Body Positivity
What is Kaddadia?
Kaddadia is a local apparel brand that recently launched its first multiform capsule collection highlighting the ever-evolving body and its constant state of flux. Sabina tells Wonder, “Kaddadia is a sort of manifestation of my body acceptance values. It first started when I was trying to shop local brands but nothing ever fit right.”
Despite the existence of densely populated body positivity communities, personal style accessible to unorthodox body types are often scarce amongst local retailers. For Sabina and other likeminded thinkers, the issue isn’t an unfamiliar one.
“Growing up, I thought dressing up wasn’t for me. I thought I couldn’t experiment with my style and should stick to wearing black or slimming clothes to hide my size. Because we didn’t have TiktTok or Pinterest growing up, all the models and celebrities (our influencers at the time) were all skinny.” She further adds: “I tied my value to my clothes size. I insisted on being a certain size and even though a size up would fit better, I’d buy the smaller size and squeeze in because I [prioritized] size over comfort.”
A driving force for body neutrality
While core themes from the body positivity movement encouraged self-love and marginalized bodies, many brands have wrongfully capitalized on privileged bodies, exacerbating diet culture and the like. In recent times, the body positivity movement continued to adhere to Western and Asian standards of beauty. Larger women were beautiful women, given that they were hourglass-shaped, well-endowed and fair-skinned.
Yet, Positivity Nirvana doesn’t happen when you hit a certain goal. And, when you do, satisfaction doesn’t stagnate. “Your life has already begun. It doesn’t start when you hit a specific weight. And your happiness and confidence don’t come with a body type—you can create it yourself.”
Coming out of this inadvertently oppressive space, Sabina took matters into her own hands (and into a sewing machine, if you will). “I decided to create this brand—a brand I wish I had when I was younger. One that acknowledges that bodies are meant to fluctuate and bellies aren’t meant to be flat.”
Instead of capitalizing on consumer insecurities, Kaddadia eliminates the pressures of perfection. Simultaneously, it acknowledges the challenges that come with manufacturing, including the nuances of inclusive sizing. As such, Kaddadia is among the few brands with such an impressive level of transparency, sharing its conscientious steps toward developing its eventual rainbow of sizes.
Upon navigating through its website, it doesn’t take long to encounter the brand’s action steps—from gathering data and applying research to following through on feedback. Through consistent refining of the innovation process, we expect Kaddadia to become one of the most impactful shakers for body diversity.
How can local brands fit into neutral spaces?
As the mainstream media’s toxic impact on body positive spaces continues to permeate, local brands continue to redefine “body worthiness” as an entirely subjective concept. “I loved the idea of celebrating and loving your body, but on most days, it was impossible to love my body.”
However, for many, deprioritizing style in favor of comfort is hardly a feasible step toward self-respect. Hence, Kaddadia takes a fully customizable approach that neglects neither. Take the Many Way Wrap Long Sleeve, adjustable in any way its wearer desires.
We can’t help but praise Kaddadia’s steps beyond catch-all sizing, all the way down to its Versatile Wide-Leg Pants. But what we love most about Kaddadia isn’t just its spectacular execution and ability to stand out in a competitive and saturated space. Its representation goals are abundantly clear. We are just as involved as the players behind its manufacturing, social media and operations.
What’s in Kaddadia’s future?
In a word, Kaddadia’s future is a proactive one. We’re looking forward to its efforts toward extended sizing flexibility and continued collaboration with neutrality advocates.
“Kaddadia doesn’t cater to all sizes yet, but the goal is that we get there, little by little.” For Sabina, Kaddadia’s journey under the public eye is just as much a personal one. “Instead of pressuring myself to love my body, my stomach, my cellulite, I just shift the focus—I love that my body is strong. I love that my body is healthy.”
Perhaps we have yet to dismantle mainstream fitness goals driven by flawed motivations like shame, guilt and societal pressure, but Kaddadia is just one of many brands advocating for pleasure, joy and personal growth.
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The bottom line
As long as fatphobia exists, body positivity and neutrality have their work cut out for them. Still, the journey, albeit arduous, isn’t an impossible one, as proven by Kaddadia’s successful first launch and blossoming partnership with body neutrality community, Hi Smithy.
If you feel a long way from overcoming the desire to hyper-police your body, you aren’t alone. At the same time, you aren’t far behind.
Words Zoë Isabela Alcazaren
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver