Southern California-based global lifestyle brand UGG brings colorful, individualistic footwear and apparel to the table, allowing its community to fully express their personalities through fashion. The brand takes this ethos one step further by advocating for gender equality through its digital platforms and in-person activations.
As part of the brand’s ongoing work in creating awareness within the mental health space and supporting its diverse community, the brand hosted a Feel House HBX panel discussion on Wednesday, Oct. 25. UGG and HBX New York brought together mutual friends, and fashion industry tastemakers alongside young, burgeoning creatives to discuss the significance of self-expression and the importance of mental health transparency.
Panelists included actor Beanie Feldstein; philanthropist, model, and entrepreneur Anya Dillard; Learning and Inclusion Manager at PFLAG, Mackenzie Harte; and Chief Program Officer at Active Minds, Laura Post Horne. While these panelists share a common passion for activism, they are also familiar with juggling considerable workloads and day-to-day schedules while regulating their own mental health.
Discussing topics from the confidence boost that can come along with putting on a great outfit to providing assistance to friends and family who may be struggling with their own mental health, the panel fostered a safe space for creatives in the fashion industry and beyond to connect with each other and decompress.
As PFLAG is the first and largest organization committed to supporting the LGBTQ+ community, Harte tackled topics involving diversifying workspaces and educating those around us — “We want to have people at the table that are going to help us unpack previous mistakes,” Harte shared. Active Minds is the leading nonprofit supporting mental health awareness in young adults, and Post Horne provided some additional insight into showing up proactively for your loved ones, “The number one thing we can do to support people who are going through a hard time is just to actively listen.”
Feldstein and Dillard wear many different hats, so balancing their careers in addition to their mental well-being is a skill they have learned over time. They shared their tips with the audience — “It’s important to know that you’re allowed to feel anxious or stressed — there’s no rule book for when it will present itself, but it’s all valid,” Feldstein expressed, and Dillard continued, “We all deserve to live freely and feel loved and heard. Moving forward, I want to be a part of what encourages this industry to move in a more inclusive and understanding direction.”
Learn more about UGG’s mission to champion self-expression, mental health awareness, and inclusivity on UGG.com/Purpose.