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One to Watch: Remi Bader Is Changing the Fashion Industry One Brand at a Time

Ashley Locke

Apr 6, 2022

After disappointing online shopping experiences for clothes her size, Remi Bader would often Snapchat her friends hilarious videos of garments that were meant to fit her, but didn’t exactly look like what they look like on the models. One day, she decided to take these videos to TikTok. And, well, you know the rest. Now known as the Queen of Realistic Hauls, Remi’s try-on videos have highlighted a number of size inclusion gaps for various brands. Just because something looks good on one plus-size model, does not mean it will work for the majority of the general population.

Remi’s hauls skyrocketed in popularity on TikTok almost overnight, forcing brands to listen and expand their sizes. Since amassing 2.1 million followers on the app, Remi has been hired by Victoria’s Secret Pink as a size consultant and official brand ambassador to help with the brand’s size expansion. The model also has a Remi X Revolve collection coming out, partnering with the brand to aid them in creating garments for women over a size 12. She truly is changing the fashion industry one brand at a time.

With festival season right around the corner, we wanted to get Remi’s advice on what to wear to music festivals, no matter your size. In the heart of West Hollywood at the Kimpton La Peer Hotel, hairstylist Cherilyn Farris, makeup artist Brittany Sullivan, and wardrobe stylist Marc Eram decked Remi out in this festival season’s clothing and beauty trends for our latest One to Watch feature. Read on to learn more about this content creator and to get festival season ready in the process!

Remi Bader neon collage | Mane Addicts

Remi McGuire

Remi Bader taking a selfie in front of a rack of clothes
Remi Bader doing a realistic haul of festival season clothes

Remi gears up for a realistic haul in her hotel room, surrounded by a plethora of brightly-colored garments fitting for festival season. She shares that she felt quite at home in this “very me” ensemble. What she really loved most about this casually chic look was the Y2K-inspired hair. The face-framing braids, the neon flower clips, and the effortless waves—we love it all.

Celebrity hairstylist Cherilyn Farris walks us through the step-by-step process of achieving this braids and blooms look yourself!

Get the Y2K Look:

Step 1: Prepped Remi’s wet hair with Ouai x Byredo Leave-In Conditioner and applied R+Co Rodeo Star to the roots.

Step 2: I blow dried her hair with a Balmain Ceramic Round Brush and the Dyson Supersonic with the concentrator nozzle.

Step 3: Next, I used a 1.5” Hot Tools Curling Iron, twisting down the length for soft waves.

Step 4: I sprayed Balmain Texturizing Volume Spray through her hair with her head upside down.

Step 5: I sectioned out two small triangles off her part, braided them back towards her shoulders, and used a small elastic to secure them, then added colorful flower clips for a spring festival vibe.

Mane Addicts: Did you ever imagine your TikToks would lead you to where you are now?

Remi Bader: Absolutely not. I’m still in shock every day at how this all turned into what it did. But I’m also grateful. I never thought making videos to fill up my free time and for my friends would turn into a full-time job for me, having a part in changing the fashion industry, and especially helping people and building an amazing community. It’s just surreal.

MA: How did you come up with the idea to do your realistic clothing hauls?

RB: For years I would Snapchat my friends when shopping or trying on clothes from online shopping and laugh at myself, showing how insane things looked on me that didn’t fit. I did it all the time. When I was doing that one day on Snapchat to friends I was like, “Why not just post it on TikTok?” Again, not thinking anyone would really watch it. I said in that video, “Why do the clothes we order online never look like they do on the model?” And I started showing the clothing on me, laughing at how it was supposed to be my size but barely fit on my body. It all changed from that one video.

MA: What have you learned about yourself from doing these hauls? What have you learned from fashion?

RB: Before doing these hauls I gained a significant amount of weight, right before the pandemic. Around that time I stopped wanting to shop, wanting to dress cute, wanting to go out with friends. I lost just about all of my confidence because I thought it was actually impossible to find cute clothes in my new size. Then when I started making these videos and started doing more research and finding that there were places I could shop for my size and still look cute and sexy, it really brought back some of that confidence in me. Also, just my followers telling me how great the outfits looked on me even when I didn’t think so myself, it really helped and made me feel good. What I learned from this is also a size number means nothing. Every clothing website has its own size chart, grading, and does things however they want. It takes effort to find your size at different retailers, find what fits, and find what styles look good on you and what don’t. That’s why I like doing the work for people so they don’t have to stress about it as much.

MA: You’ve said that “clothing should never make you feel discouraged or upset.” In a world where there weren’t previously many options for women size 12 and over, how did you learn to cultivate such positivity?

RB: So what’s interesting for me is that I was always a size 10 to 12. I would say most average retailers stop at a size 12. I always struggled shopping and was always a curvy girl, but never knew how hard it was for someone above a size 12 until two years ago. Again, I didn’t have positivity around it. I was angry. When I went shopping around SoHo for an outfit and not one of almost 15 stores had my size, I just couldn’t believe my eyes. Although things are moving in a better direction, curvy and plus-size people are still not valued the way they should be in the fashion industry and it needs to change.

MA: Who are some of your favorite fashion brands for those with curves? Are there any that could be doing more?

RB: I’ve been loving Abercrombie, Madewell, and Good American for denim. For going out, Fashion Nova, Eloquii, ASOS, and Reformation. For athleisure, I love Athleta, Girlfriend Collective, and Year of Ours. For higher-end, I’ve been into Veronica Beard, Michael Costello, and Christian Siriano. And for any undergarments, bodysuits, etc., I love Skims. And of course, for bathing suits, I’m loving Victoria’s Secret Pink’s new swimsuits that just launched in size XXL. There are a good amount more really killing it and trying their best to be more inclusive, but there are way more brands, designers, and retailers out there that unfortunately aren’t.

MA: What is your advice to women (curvy or not) who want to have a career in modeling like you?

RB: My advice is that anyone can do it no matter who you are. I didn’t have a following when I got signed to a modeling agency. I lost my job due to COVID and felt super lost. I thought I never could be a model at 5’7” and had other insecurities, but I went for it. My dad took iPhone photos of me against a white wall, I got my measurements, and I just researched agencies in my city that have a plus-size modeling board. Just go for it. There is nothing to lose.

Fluorescent pink and purple collage of Remi Bader

Fairest of Them All

Remi Bader looking at her reflection in a mirror
Remi Bader applying lip gloss in a full-length mirror

Introducing Remi after dark. In a matching checkered-print set, Remi applies a shimmery lip gloss on her pout, a product she “can’t go anywhere without.” Of the low ponytail and zig-zag part, Remi shares she “would 100 percent wear my hair like that, not just during festival season.”

The zig-zag part is another Y2K trend totally making a comeback, so you’ll definitely want to try it yourself for festival season. Follow Cherilyn’s how-to below!

Zig-Zag Part How To:

Step 1: First, I separated the front from the back, ear to ear, and clipped away the front.

Step 2: Then, I gathered the back half into a middle ponytail, spraying R+Co Outer Space Hairspray around her hairline and brushing it tight with an Ibiza Boar Bristle Brush, and secured it with a Blax elastic.

Step 3: Using a metal rattail comb, I made a deep zig-zag middle part. I applied Oway Frozen Glaze Strong Hold Pomade to the parting with a Pattern Beauty Edge Brush to keep it in place.

Step 4: I added the front section to the back ponytail and secured it with an elastic.

Step 5: Using a 1.25” Hot Tools Curling Iron, I flipped the ends of the pony out and up for a playful bounce and used a duckbill clip to let it cool while I added colorful snap barrettes on the sides.

MA: Congratulations on your new role as an ambassador and size consultant for Victoria’s Secret Pink! What are your goals with this partnership? What do you hope comes from it?

RB: My goals are to really be a part of the internal process and give as much feedback as I can. I’m excited that I get to test these clothes and they care about my thoughts and what I have to say. I want to help them with the fit but even more than that I’d obviously love to help them increase sizing even further.

MA: What does it mean to you to represent Victoria’s Secret Pink?

RB: It means so much to me because it was the first thing to make me realize I’m actually making a change. This isn’t just TikTok anymore; this is now all real and coming to life. Making a difference is what’s most important to me and VS Pink is allowing me to be a part of their change, which is amazing.

MA: How do you manage your mental health while being such a prominent figure on TikTok?

RB: Believe me, it’s difficult. I’m noticing more and more that the bigger and more exciting things are for me, it actually brings more negativity and haters. I will never be able to please everyone and it sucks because I want to. But I’m trying to find ways to handle the criticism and trolls a little better. It’s just a lot sometimes. The positive impact I’m making means more to me and makes me want to keep going.

MA: What are three things you do to keep your mental health in check?

RB: Take long showers and sit in the shower. Yes, it’s weird, but it’s my safe space. Also getting a massage and venting to and spending time with friends and family who support me no matter what.

MA: Do you ever feel pressure to be “that girl” all the time? Do you think that TikTok can also put pressure on young people to feel like they have to live a certain way in order to be healthy and successful?

RB: Being anyone in the public eye is hard because you 100 percent need to be “on” at all times. If I’m not my energetic TikTok self and I’m having a bad day in person, people notice and are like, “What’s wrong?” It’s like I can’t even have an off day sometimes. But again, it’s all about keeping yourself around the right people and people who support me no matter what. My TikTok community and followers don’t necessarily make me feel like I need to do things or live a certain way. I’ve shown my realistic self from the start so people know I’m not going to try and be someone I’m not, and I think that’s why they follow me.

MA: What are your three top tips for surviving festival season?

RB: Comfort is key. There is a lot of walking around so dressing to be comfy is more important to me than even dressing cute. Although I’d like to do both. Second, dress however you want. There’s no right or wrong way. The fun part, I feel, is that no one judges anyone. Third, it’s hot so prepare for that and stay hydrated. Now I sound like a mom.

MA: Where are some great places to shop for festival outfits?

RB: A lot of my looks from the photoshoot are from Frankies Bikinis and Revolve. So many fun colors and sets, cover-ups, etc. I think other great places to check out are ASOS, Nasty Gal, Pretty Little Thing, and Fashion Nova. Think fun and colorful!

Remi Bader One to Watch Collage | Mane Addicts

Festival Fantasy

Closeup of Remi Bader laying in a pile of clothes
Remi Bader holding a shoe up to her ear as if it were a phone

Donning a blue bikini from Frankies Bikinis and a blue coverup from Pretty Little Thing, Remi is ready for a full day of festival festivities. “Blue is my favorite color and the blue makeup with the matching blue outfit was everything,” she gushes. “The hair was adorable and lying on the bed in a pile of clothes very much represents me since I basically live in a pile of clothes.”

For the accessorized braids, Cherilyn “let the accessories take the stage for this one.” That’s always a great way to make any festival hairstyle pop.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Festival Braids:

Step 1: I parted her hair down the middle into two sections. After we parted her hair down the middle into two sections, I applied R+Co Aircraft Pomade Mousse through the section I’m about to braid.

Step 2: Starting about 1.5” back from the front, I braided her hair all the way down in a Dutch braid style with the plait on top.

Step 3: I then secured them with elastic before wrapping a piece of bright yellow cord around the ends.

Step 4: Next, I added these cute moon phases bobby pins along the underside of one of the braids.

Step 5: I sprayed a toothbrush with Original Mineral Queenie Strong Hold Hairspray and brushed back the hairline to control any baby hairs.

MA: Which hairstyles do you feel the most festival season-ready in?

RB: I’m excited to get some braids and fun clip-ins. Again, lots of color involved. I think buns and cute updos are great too because of how hot it is. Instead of small braids, two big braids is also a cute look.

MA: Transitioning into haircare, are there any brands you really love right now? Which products do you use on a regular basis?

RB: I’m not saying this to be biased I swear, but I’ve been obsessing over the Ouai Shampoo and Conditioner lately. I also love their Wave Spray. I also use Briogeo Oil and Frizz Spray and have been loving the Gisou Hair Oil as well. Lastly, I have this Prose Curl Cream I like a lot too. I like to play around with products.

MA: What do you love most about your hair?

RB: I used to hate my hair. I hated how it was curly/wavy and it took so long to straighten or style. Over the years, that changed. I enjoy wearing it more naturally now, and I like that I don’t need much product and can let it air dry. It’s thick and I have a lot of it so it’s fun to try interesting hairstyles too. Definitely only when I’m getting it done though because I cannot do it myself.

MA: Do you have any major hair regrets? Or maybe something you didn’t do to your hair that you wish you did?

RB: I love going a little blonder once a year but also feel if I never started coloring, I wouldn’t be doing that now. I feel like my hair used to be way longer and healthier looking and I miss that. But we’re working on it.

MA: Which hairstyles make you feel the most confident in who you are?

RB: I love a good blowout with my hair down in a middle part—that’s my classic look. But I’ve been really getting into fun updos. I never thought I’d wear my hair out in a bun or pony, but I’ve been loving playing around with that.

MA: What’s next for you? Where do you see your career going?

RB: The answer is I really don’t know. I’ve been loving going with the flow for the first time ever, having these opportunities come my way, and just seeing what I like and also what I don’t. It’s all going to lead me in the direction I should be in. I’m trusting the process.

Talent: Remi Bader | @remibader

Hair: Cherilyn Farris | @cherilynrachelle

Makeup: Brittany Sullivan | @brittsully

Wardrobe: Marc Eram | @marc_eram

Photography: Jesse Fiorino | @jessefff

Location: Kimpton La Peer + JRNY Travel

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