Meet Keia Bounds, the Costume Designer Behind All THOSE Looks on “Survival of the Thickest”

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Editor’s note: This interrogation was completed earlier and published during the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes of 2023. The enactment being reviewed would not beryllium without the labour of writers and actors.

“I’m a New Yorker and I wanted it to consciousness similar existent New York.” –

Keia Bounds 

It’s thing astir seeing manner connected a positive size assemblage that thrills maine the astir whenever I’m watching a peculiar movie oregon tv series. Having seen the trailer for Netflix’s “Survival of the Thickest,” I was instantly intrigued with however good the series’ lead, Michelle Buteau, was styled passim the 30 2nd clip.

New York’s own, Keia Bounds (and her styling/design team), delivered stylishly with each occurrence of the series, bringing an edgy, city-inspired theme. One that captured the essence of the energy, culture, creativity and individuality, and enactment entreaty often seen walking the runway sidewalks of the antithetic boroughs of New York. 

Survival of the Thickest TrailerMeet Stylist, Keia bounds the stylist down  Survival of the ThickestImage via Netflix

When fixed the task disconnected interviewing Bounds, I jumped connected the accidental IMMEDIATELY! Having watched the bid and being a wardrobe stylist myself, excitement ran done my “Single Black Female Addicted to Retail” veins seeing antithetic brands similar Eloquii, Brandon Blackwood, Selkie (I’m specified a instrumentality of The Puff Dress successful the cover), and positive athleisure deterioration similar Adidas, I couldn’t hold to inquire Bounds those questions that benignant enthusiasts would ask.

In attempts to calm my nerves and unbend the impulse to spell into a afloat anxiousness filled episode, I enactment connected my pinkish lipstick, entered the Zoom chat room, and had a one-on-one woman chat with the pb stylist of “Survival of the Thickest.” TCF supporters, fans, and assemblage members, I contiguous to you, Keia Bounds. 

Get to Know Keia Bounds, the Costume Designer for Survival of the Thickest!

Entering the chat with specified warmness and a chill-relaxed vibe, Bounds (alongside her publicist), (with passionateness successful her eyes) gave maine the inspiration to dive heavy into asking questions not lone pertaining to the film, but her vocation arsenic a fashion-designer-turned-wardrobe-stylist.

We wondered, arsenic a Costume Designer, what was her inspiration for each occurrence with each character. Being capable to enactment her genius into play, successful bid to marque definite that the manner was truthful astonishing and truthful New York, and truthful forward? We had to know; what was the inspiration down that?

Survival of the Thickest TrailerMeet Stylist, Keia bounds the stylist down  Survival of the ThickestSurvival of the Thickest. Michelle Buteau arsenic Mavis successful Survival of the Thickest. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023

Keia shares “So I conjecture the inspiration down it was that I americium a New Yorker, and I wanted it to consciousness similar existent New York, arsenic good arsenic to get what they wanted maine to get disconnected of the leafage (the script).” 

Hearing, “the existent New York,” brought maine backmost a clip of the aboriginal 2000s and watching nighttime tv with shows similar Sex and the City. Being a autochthonal of the city, Bounds seemed to person not lone grasped the imaginativeness of the film’s production, but she was capable to benignant Michelle Buteau successful specified a mode that made maine privation to effort connected the apparel and adhd them into my closet.

Out of curiosity, I asked her astir her clip moving with Michelle Buteau.

Survival of the Thickest TrailerMeet Stylist, Keia bounds the stylist down  Survival of the ThickestSurvival of the Thickest. (L to R) Peppermint arsenic Peppermint and Michelle Buteau arsenic Mavis successful Survival of the Thickest. Cr. Vanessa Clifton/Netflix © 2023

On moving with Michele Buteau, Keia Bounds shares, “She’s AMAZING! To enactment with her arsenic a woman, arsenic a Black woman, arsenic a curvy woman! Like each these things, Michelle is hilarious! She’s not the benignant of hilarious that you privation they would crook disconnected either. She’s conscionable herself and conscionable people comic and people brilliant. It was fun!”

Throughout each episode, I noticed acquainted brands and brands that I had not been introduced to yet. With each formed subordinate having their ain stylistic appeal, I often wondered if the styling unit had immoderate challenges with uncovering antithetic manner brands wanting to collaborate with the film.

Although the manner manufacture has evolved and continues to germinate with size inclusivity and assemblage benignant inclusivity, portion besides creating supportive and stylish guardant environments for the members of the LGBTQIA+ community, determination are inactive brands who aren’t arsenic connected committee with making covering for the ever-changing nine that we unrecorded in. 

Survival of the Thickest Trailer 1Survival of the Thickest. Michelle Buteau arsenic Mavis successful Survival of the Thickest. Cr. Vanessa Clifton/Netflix © 2023

Knowing that the movie excitedly highlighted truthful overmuch of the positive size AND LGBTQ community, we wondered astir Keia Bounds’ experiences oregon challenges with accessing positive size manner for the formed members.

Keia shares, “I deliberation that, due to the fact that arsenic we know, it’s hard to find fashionably pieces (especially decorator pieces) successful positive sizes, for curvy women. For the manner manufacture to inactive not beryllium up to velocity connected what is happening successful the existent satellite made it hard for maine to find a batch of the things that were needed.” 

Understanding her challenges, Bounds applied her originative and nonrecreational interaction passim the bid with creating pieces that were needed to beryllium created, reached retired to antithetic designers to person specialized archetypal garments, and took the treasure of uncovering unfamiliar brands to marque definite the unit were styled to the T.  

Although not surprising, Bounds’ empathy towards not having arsenic galore disposable positive size decorator brands to take from for this task helped maine to privation to inquire myself, “What is the clasp up with the manner industry?” 

Survival of the Thickest TrailerSurvival of the Thickest. Nicole Byer arsenic Nicole Byer and Michelle Buteau arsenic Mavis successful Survival of the Thickest. Cr. Jocelyn Prescod/Netflix © 2023

With a vocation that has stylishly stretched from the aboriginal 2000s, Keia Bounds has worked with actors specified arsenic Jack Black, Dave Chapelle, and Edie Falco, and tv bid similar “The Get Down” and “BMF.”

“I would emotion my bequest to beryllium astir impacting the civilization successful a affirmative way. Whether the civilization beryllium the civilization of manner oregon the civilization of radical of color, I would emotion to beryllium capable to person a stamp successful determination somewhere.”

Keia Bounds

Getting a sneak peek successful her inheritance was surprising. Having turned from being a manner decorator to becoming a stylist, past to costume designing, Keia Bounds has a flexibility with her creativity that has not lone made her a pioneer but besides fixed herself the quality to proceed with the bequest of helping others marque an impact, moving successful manner and benignant wrong the tv and movie industry.

Be unfastened to the possibilities and beryllium consenting to larn each of the antithetic processes successful bid to fig retired what that 1 happening is that you privation to do. ”

Keia Bounds

Bounds spoke passionately connected the challenges and successes of being a costume decorator successful the film/television industry, portion besides mentioning however refreshing it would beryllium to person much higher-ups respect and admit the creation of costume and wardrobe styling and compensating much for the assemblage and endowment wrong the film/television industry.

If you haven’t already, delight ticker Netflix’s “Survival of the Thickest” and fto america cognize what you thought astir the fashion!

With specified tv projects arsenic “Survival of the Thickest,” we anticipation to spot much indie positive size decorator brands featured and included, to service the ever-changing nine that we’re presently surviving in.

Stylishly signing off, I’m D. Ni’Cole!