Remember when it was cool to try and fit in?
At school, most of us wanted nothing more than to have the same bag, the same hair and the same jewellery as the cool girls. We wanted to fit the mould.
This past week, to celebrate the launch of its new Velvet Rope collection (check out the jumpsuit guys, that's all we're sayin’...), which is inspired by the New York City Ballet, PUMA brought together a group of excellent women who know exactly what it means to Do You, in order to celebrate their achievements, their diversity, their individuality and their refusal to go with the status quo.
Led by incredible dancer Sophie Apollonia, the event saw women from all over trying their hand at – drum roll, please – aerial dancing! Because why dance with your feet on the ground when you can (literally) swing from the rooftops? Did we mention that Do You also means being fearless af?
We caught up with some of these awesome women throughout the day to find out how they live the Do You lifestyle.
DJs and bloggers, Jordan and Loanne Collyer from London recently quit their full-time work to pursue their dreams.
“The Do You campaign means being yourself and not really caring what other people think”, says Jordan.
“It’s about breaking barriers,” Loanne adds. “It’s about being fierce, staying true to who you are and just being yourself!”
The twins quit their full-time jobs 10 months ago – something that took guts. “We were really unhappy in our jobs,” Jordan says, by way of explaining what the twins’ ultimate Do You moment was. “It’s scary, quitting a full-time job; the insecurity, it makes you a bit unconfident. But we haven’t looked back since and now we’re living the life and loving it. So that was definitely a great moment!”
Sophie, a dancer from Brixton, trained at the Royal Ballet School and appears in music videos, West End shows and dances all around the world.
“Do You to me is being real,” she says. "It’s not being concerned with what other people are doing.”
“I really felt myself when I realised that me, being natural with my big, afro hair, and being brown – especially in the ballet community – was accepted and loved. That made me feel powerful and free.”
Sophie’s favourite piece from the Velvet Rope collection is the leotard. “It’s so comfortable, it’s fitting around the waist. It’s airy, I don’t feel like I’m sweating in it!” she laughs.
Yinka is a DJ, radio and TV presenter and blogger with her own TV show on Channel AKA.
Yinka, like Sophie, found her Do You moment in her identity. “It was when I decided just to do away with everything to do with changing my hair,” she says. “I decided to let it be natural because natural is best and now I look hella sassy. So it’s all good!”
What pose helps her feel powerful? “I just put the biggest smile on my face!” she laughs. “I think I’ve learned to be so happy recently and there’s nothing more powerful and more welcoming than smiling. WITH every tooth showing!”
Check out our Facebook Live with Sophie from the day below.