Emma Grede: ‘Good American Has Shown That Prioritising Diversity Is Great Business’

Her pioneering denim brand, co-founded with Khloe Kardashian, has sizes UK 4-36 plus.

Emma Grede co-founder of Good American

by Harriet Davey |
Updated on

Emma Grede is a powerhouse driving change within the fashion industry. East London-born, Grede joined forces with Khloe Kardashian, co-founding Good American – the inclusive denim brand – back in 2016. Since then, the label has branched out into outerwear, swim, elevated basics (in sizes UK 4-36 plus) and even size-inclusive heels.

Grede remembers a time before starting her own label - she's also the founding partner of SKIMS, Kim Kardashian's game-changing shapewear brand, and Kris Jenner's Safely - when inclusivity wasn't at the forefront of fashion. 'I’d already been in the industry for over 10 years, and at that point, diversity was more of a short-term marketing fix.' She has, however, noticed some positive changes like, 'hiring with more inclusion in mind, creating product for more people and focusing on representation both in front of and behind the camera. But there’s definitely a long way to go. I think as a brand, Good American has shown that prioritising diversity is great business and real inclusion is literally changing the face of fashion, so we’ll continue to carry the torch forward.'

In light of wanting to be as inclusive as possible, Good American features real people as the face of the brand. The #GoodSquad initiative is an open casting to find these new faces. 'We’ve just launched our 5th annual open casting and it’s our biggest one yet. Thanks to Zoom, we’re holding our first-ever virtual casting which means anyone, anywhere can apply to become a member of the Good Squad', says Grede.

The business mogul added, 'At Good American, we really take pride in ensuring that our sizes are inclusive, and we want to reflect this in the models we work with.' The brand shoots each piece on three different sized models and the majority of its campaigns feature diverse women who are mostly found through its open casting calls. 'Body acceptance is something Khloe and I spoke about when we were first discussing creating Good American. We had seen the gaps in the industry and felt it was our purpose to create a company that would lead the way in terms of representation.'

If you want to be a model for the spring/summer 2023 clothing campaign, all you need to do is submit your application (here). And Grede tells us you can also now audition in London. 'The open casting will be in Selfridges, which is going to be incredible. I always love coming back to my hometown, but it’s particularly special when it’s for something that I’m so proud of.'

Grede is one of three daughters raised by a single mother in East London. 'Growing up in an environment like that, surrounded by strong women, definitely made me more confident and self-assured. My mum worked really hard to provide for us, and I think this definitely helped instil my work ethic.' And as for fashion, she grew up the '90s, an 'insane time' for the cultural scene. 'I worshiped the supermodels, and I was obsessed with British fashion, art and music. But it was working in production that taught me a lot about business and gave me a lot of the foundations to eventually start companies of my own in the fashion space.'

With the brand specialising in denim since the beginning, we were keen to find out about the new addition of its Compression Denim. 'The idea was to create a collection that would lift, sculpt and enhance all your assets. It's a ground-breaking new denim system and comes in three different levels of compression with different styles and fits for every occasion.' And as the creators of size 15 (for mid-size women) we trust them to create well-made denim to suit all bodies.

As a driver of inclusion within the industry, Grede became the chairwoman of the Fifteen Percent Pledge, the movement founded by Aurora James, which asks businesses to dedicate 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned brands. 'The most challenging part of this work is constantly seeing and experiencing the differences in access to opportunities for people of colour, especially women, but I’m so proud of the work we’ve done with the Pledge to try and change that. We’ve been able to generate a $10 billion pipeline of opportunity for Black-owned businesses and there is still so much more work to be done to achieve true inclusivity and representation in business.'

As a self-made entrepreneur, Grazia asked how she instils her confidence into her own children. 'My mum taught me two keys things, firstly, that I was better than nobody. But equally, that no one is better than me (she was also big on teaching me and my sisters that we could do anything if we were willing to put the work in), so I always want to instil these two things in my own four children,' she says. 'As they’re still so young, it’s really about teaching them the importance of being respectful and compassionate to one another and everyone else and modelling that every damn day! Of course, I’m aware that my children will be raised with privilege, opposite to my upbringing, however, I think teaching them through little lessons in life, whether that’s charity work or just with each other, brings an awareness and responsibility.'


SHOP: Our Favourite Good American Jeans

Good Straight Light Compression Jeans1 of 7

Good Straight Light Compression Jeans

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Good Classic Light Compression Jeans

Always Fits Good Classic Jeans3 of 7

Always Fits Good Classic Jeans

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Good Icon Jeans

Always Fits Good Classic Boot5 of 7

Always Fits Good Classic Boot

Good Boy6 of 7

Good Boy

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Good Straight Split Pockets

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