Kat & Nina / Nina & Kat

It started with a conversation on our way to a party.

We were dissatisfied with a lot of things we see in the fashion world. It's not just that most of the designers who make the magazine spread are completely disinterested in women of average figures and height (let alone plus size). It's that the fashion world seems to be obsessed with something that has very little to do with actual style: wealth. We're not saying that the Kardashian sisters don't have style, but it comes easy when you have an endless bank account. What about the social worker who can make $25 look like $2,500? That's impressive to us. 

But enough negative stuff. We want to change all of that. 

What started as an idea Nina had at a party to make an Instagram account that would show off our own style has turned into a place that celebrates the diversity we weren't really seeing anywhere else.

Fashion Penpals showcases wicked style at every shape, every size, every color, every gender, and every income. If you have great personal style, confidence, and a good story to tell about it, we want to show it off.

Share your pics and story with us @fashionpenpals and/or #fashionpenpals, and we'll take care of the rest :).

ABOUT NINA: Growing up, I was surrounded by strong female role models who did it all they were businesswomen, mothers, seamstresses, artists and caretakers (cue the 90’s Meredith Brooke's hit song). Long before the term DIY was coined; my mother was creating beautiful things out of ordinary objects. She  made sure to never let a limited budget inhibit my visions. Inheriting the elaborate crafting skills of my mother and seamstress skills of my grandmother, I eventually went on to study Fashion Design at Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Fast forward 13 years through: school, jobs as a stylist, a party planner, a teacher and an artist to present day where I run a department at a non-profit that works with Adults with Developmental Disabilities. Fashion Penpals is where I find creative passion for balancing looking fabulous and professional (all on a social workers budget).

Follow me on Instagram: @Ninakay415

ABOUT KAT: I went to school for Creative Writing because I had convinced myself that the life of a writer would somehow be easier than that of a fat fashion designer, and at least the writing community wouldn't obsess over losing five (or fifty) pounds. Now, I'm a slashy: a book publicist/social media strategist by day, and a stylist when the work comes to me by night/weekends. I have styled Chris Reed of Sons of Anarchy, Bruce Sturgell of big guy's style site Chubstr.com, and more. 

And who is that guy who takes all of my photos? That's Rob Reeves of Wry Toast Photos. He's also my other half.

Follow me on Twitter: @katengh 

Follow me on Instagram: @pinandhem



San Francisco & Oakland, California