Mental Health in Fashion: An Interview with Camille Felicity

The topic of mental health in the fashion industry is a conversation point that is simultaneously overlooked and focused on—it's a state that's symptomatic of the industry's larger inclination to push the superficial as a means to look past the darker parts of the truth. There are numerous initiatives and organizations working to push out of this thinking, and Not Just A Label Contributor Alexis Henry brings us inside Heart for Art's Mental Health in Fashion initiative that is providing a space to discuss and rethink the ways in which mental health is perceived and navigated in the industry and beyond.

Mental Health in Fashion is an initiative that explores how mental health issues are discussed in the fashion industry. Heart for Art, in partnership with Austell Place, hosts monthly panels that feature speakers from across the industry sharing their perspectives on the topic. Since their first event in June, panelists have included international models, creative directors, fashion designers, and editors. I spoke with one of their upcoming guests, Camille Felicity, managing editor at Spoiled, and asked her about how she got involved in the initiative.  


What made you decide to get involved in this initiative? 

Not to be crass, but I’m crazy, and I’m proud to be. In the past it was something I was afraid to share or talk about because I did not know how to navigate my crazy without hurting myself or others. Everyone deserves a life of love and peace; and understanding yourself, facing yourself, is the only way how. I’m here to help remove the stigma that surrounds admitting we are flawed, vulnerable, messy, spirits in bodies that need to go to therapy. In short, crazy can still be chic. 

As a young person in the industry, do you think older brands/ designers are aware of the mental struggles a lot of younger people are going through? 

Generational gaps have always existed. The emergence of technology has most definitely accelerated the impact but it has also created spaces for conversations that allow initiatives such as this panel to exist. Providing understanding, empathy, and support as an individual or as a brand is a choice. There are established brands and designers who have evolved and there are those who have not. I believe the brands that chose to evolve will survive. 

Do you ever feel uncomfortable being candid online? 

It’s like being naked. Sometimes I feel like a sex god, sometimes I feel like a cheese devouring goblin. The wonder of living is that I get to be ugly and still be beautiful. 


What gave you the courage to originally be so open in person and on instagram?

I was blessed to be born with very little shame, ask my high school friends. I also realized the importance of sharing my vulnerability. Community, connections, and love is something you can feel in a physical space, but also something you can feel with the friends who follow you. The purpose of human life is to love, and that’s not possible without opening up. So, cry on the train if you have to, and tell people you love them when you feel it, allow yourself to look like an idiot, and watch your life grow. 


What advice would you give to people who are feeling unsure of themselves?

Find a mirror, look yourself in the eye and tell yourself “I love you” until you mean it.  Also, get new friends. 


Are there any resources or support networks you use? 

The most important resource I have ever used is a notebook and a pen. I would be lost without the counselors, therapists, and kind ears I have spoken with through my mental health journey. This past year Ecounseling has really helped me center as I look for a new therapist. For anyone who would like to experiment with therapy, or for anyone who feels they are too busy to schedule a physical appointment I recommend Better Help. Being able to text my therapist like a friend has expanded my ability to be honest and authentic with myself and others in my life. Thich Nhat Hanh and Vonnegut are both geniuses I am eternally thankful for.  

Also, it may sound scary, but alcoholic or not, everyone should buy a Big Book and work the steps. 


What can all of us do to promote a more inclusive environment in the fashion community?

To its merit the fashion industry has become increasingly diverse, and that is something that I hope will continue. On the individual level, we should redefine inclusivity as an aspect of self beyond the physical traits, listen, and say yes to new ideas. For brands and influencers, remember the beauty of fashion is the ability to share a story through performative expression. It’s never just a shirt, it’s never just lipstick—it’s a mood.