Saucye West: How This Plus-Size Model is Honoring Her Mother’s Style Legacy…
Our #MyPlusJourney series will share the many stories of those within the plus size community who have persevered and thrived throughout their lives despite immense challenges. These individuals continue to inspire and empower others in the process.
It was that deep sorrow that kept her from donating her mom’s clothing. Her mother’s closet was like a style treasure chest, where every piece told a story of her history.
Saucye West grew up idolizing her mom’s style, which inspired her to use fashion herself as a way of expression:
“My mother was a very stunning woman, who was soft-spoken but mighty. Her style was always chic and classy. She loved to dress. Her closet was a mix of things, old and new. She still had timeless pieces in her closet from when I was in high school and they were still in pristine condition. My mom was plus size almost her whole life and always made sure that I never ‘dressed for my body’; she encouraged me to wear what made me feel good, no matter what size I was.”
West wanted to honor her mother via her style legacy while also continuing to tell her story.
Prior to her death, West’s mom chronicled her treatment journey on Facebook, which included sharing her impeccable style:
“I remember her wearing this flowy skirt and peasant top on the day she was admitted to the hospital prior to her passing away. She had lost a significant amount of weight because of the treatments and couldn’t fit into her clothes anymore. I could tell that it really affected her, especially her confidence.
After she passed away, I would sit in her room and look at her clothes in the closet. I would go through each hanger, remembering where she wore each piece and for what occasion. I began taking things out and seeing if I could fit them and I could. So I decided to pay homage to her by showcasing her pieces on my Instagram page. It was my way of letting her know that I loved her and letting the world know how amazing she was and how she influenced me.”
West’s earliest fashion-related memory of her mother speaks volumes as to the deep impact she had on West’s fashion style and confidence:
“When I was a little girl, I loved singer Anita Baker! And my mom would wear those same flowy dresses and skirts. So when I used to watch Soul Train and Anita would perform, I would run into my mom’s room, grab her skirt (that would be entirely too big) and put it on. When Anita would sing ‘Caught up in the Rapture of Love’, I would just sway away in my mom’s skirt and sing. My mom would be so tickled. I still love a good a-line skirt ‘till this day because of that.”
#BrendasCloset has now become more than just a tribute. It has become a way to inspire other mothers and daughters to share fashion/style experiences and bond while helping each other to build their self-esteem.
Saucye West feels happy knowing this may offer a bridge for generations to connect more via fashion:
“We often make fun of our parent’s style but don’t realize that fashion always rebirths itself. When I was growing up, I would wear pieces of hers because fashion and trends for plus teens were non-existent. Having conversations with your parent(s) about feeling good and being confident is just so important! If I didn’t have a confident mom who was plus size, I don’t know where I would be today. I’m so grateful for what she taught me and she probably didn’t even know she was doing it. She was just being ‘jazzy’ as she would say.”
And it was those valuable lessons that also helped West continue to define her own style over time:
“My mom taught me to always buy staple pieces. She believed that those pieces that mix and match well with anything are key, since they can create multiple new looks.
Mom also taught me the importance of having a conversation piece as part of my look, such as a purse, shoe or brooch. She never wore anything too ‘busy’, as she called it, and while she was more modest than I, I have learned from her how to choose thoughtfully when to show skin and when not to.”
We can’t wait to see what Saucye West will showcase from #BrendasCloset in 2020.
She’s already sporting her favorite closet piece this winter, a fun length black IGIGI coat with animal print lining, to which West calls “badass” and “to die for!”.
She tells us that in 2020, we will definitely be seeing some of her mom’s older pieces, including her “After 5” dresses and some 80s/90s throwback looks.
“She loved to get dressed up and be fancy! My mom loved red, so I will definitely be showcasing one of her red numbers.”
Saucye West also hopes that #BrendasCloset will inspire others to appreciate their loved ones while they’re still alive and see the greatness in ourselves by being more present:
“I never appreciated the things that I’ve done in my life until she was gone. I hate that we didn’t have more time. But through this, I hope to get through my sadness and my grief. My mom was my rock. She stepped in to help me after my daughter’s father passed away in 2013. She taught me so much and I’m just grateful that I had her as my mom. I feel like we were just becoming friends in my adult years so I hope that she sees me and is proud. I miss her and love her so much.”
You can check out #BrendasCloset on West’s Instagram page here.
We think Brenda is looking down now, tickled at the fact that her style is inspiring a new generation of fashionistas to express themselves and not be afraid to make a statement.
And we’re sure she’s extremely proud of her daughter for honoring her in this unique way.