An Olympic Gymnast is Revolutionizing the Fashion Industry

You may be familiar with Laurie Hernandez because of her killer gymnastics skills that earned her a gold and silver medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Or maybe you watched her slay the dance floor with partner Valentin Chmerkovskiy as she snagged the mirrorball trophy on Season 23 of Dancing with the Stars. Well, Hernandez’s next endeavor explores a completely different industry: fashion.

The gymnast partnered with JCPenny in order to create a collection called “Obsess” that is exclusively for teens and promotes body positivity. The line--which features tops, rompers, dresses, jeans, and shorts--ranges from size 7 to 20 so that it is accessible to everyone. Every girl, no matter her shape or size, will have outfit options that are chic and make her feel comfortable in her own skin. 

Hernandez’s vibrant personality (her nickname is “human emoji”) shines through in the pieces of the collection, especially in the teal bomber jacket with embroidered flowers on the sleeves, which the athlete has been seen wearing in public numerous times. Other items from the line that Hernandez particularly favors are the jean shorts and jean jacket, which she asserts are stretchy in order to cater to different sizes.

The inspiration behind the collection stems from Hernandez’s own struggle with self-confidence as a gymnast whose body is constantly changing. This past February, the gymnast admitted to People the common struggle to embrace one’s individuality: “I think it happens with a lot of girls my age and lot of girls who might be younger than me, where they think, ‘Aw, I don’t feel extremely confident in how I look today. I want to make sure that we can look in the mirror and say, ‘Hey, I might not be feeling right today but how can I, myself, just feel better and how can I make sure to promote self-love?’” It looks like her new clothing line is certainly a step in the right direction.

You can shop Hernandez's "Obsess" collection at https://www.jcpenney.com/g/obsess-kids/N-bwo40Z1z0j63b.