March 11, 2014 at 4:59 PM ET
For a California-based fashion company, there's a new requisite for models: a Ph.D.
Betabrand, an online clothing company known for its popular Dress Pant Yoga Pant, recently released its spring collection in which all the female models are women who either have or are working towards doctorate degrees.
“Everybody knows women are smart,” Chris Lindland, the founder of Betabrand, told TODAY.com. “But we wanted to show off the highest heights of academic talent for this selection.”
Lindland came up with the idea six weeks ago while photographing his friend, Kelly, for one of Betabrand's products. Kelly mentioned that she was working on her doctorate degree, which made Lindland think that it would be great to get several doctorates modeling Betabrand’s clothing. He put a quick casting call out on Facebook and had 60 women respond from across the country ready to strike a pose.
“We thought that would be a fun way to show the line,” he said. “But what was really fun was the enthusiasm with which they approached it.”
Betabrand selected 18 of the applicants to model the clothing. Nine of the women were in San Francisco, where Betabrand is located, while another nine who lived outside of the golden state were sent clothing and told to have someone photograph them in the items.
Putting unprofessional models on its site is familiar ground for Betabrand. For convenience and affordability reasons, most of the models for the company are employees, friends and neighbors.
“We’ve always had a very broad view of who should be fashion models,” Lindland said. “No matter how little fashion experience you have modeling, you can be the lead model on our website.”
Betabrand's spring collection went live last week, and so far, the response has been positive.
Lindland said he is being inundated with emails from doctorates wanting to model the line, and that they will certainly continue to have a place on the site. “From an aspirational point of view, it’s a very fun and meaningful approach,” he said.