Resting Bitch Face is the streetwear brand venting all your inner feelings
Do I want resting bitch faces on my hoodie? Hell to the yes
by Laura Casado
Every girl has been told to ‘smile’ by catcallers on the street, whom we speed walk past as they continue to yell about our ‘resting bitch face.’ But instead of cowering to that negative stereotype, Leila Wikel turned the phrase into a streetwear brand.
The 21-year-old film major, who is originally from Atlanta, started Resting Bitch Face in December 2016
After moving to New York two years earlier for college, she wanted to be more involved in the city’s streetwear community.
“I feel like there is a major lack of female presence in the streetwear scene from a design standpoint, and many of the well-known brands fail to represent what I, as a strong female, stand for,” said Leila.
Growing up, Leila was an avid fan of skateboarding and wanted to create a label that was influenced by the New York skate culture, but also open for everyone to wear
“I wanted to create a brand that anyone – not just skaters – could wear and appreciate, that didn’t have restrictions on who can wear the clothes,” she said.
Although starting a brand from scratch might seem daunting, Leila says it felt natural because her inspiration came from a personal place
“In 6th grade, one of my teachers told me that I need to work on my neutral face because I look too pissed and that’s when I realized that I have a major resting bitch face, which I am incredibly proud of. Many women have been told that they need to smile in order to look pretty and conform to society’s perception of a typical happy woman, but that is so not the case. It’s shocking how often I’ll be walking down the street and some dumbass dude says ‘Hey sweetie! You are too pretty to not be smiling! Smile!’ or ‘You know smiling is easier than frowning!’ and it takes everything in me to not freak the fuck out,” Leila told babe.
To put it simply, Leila doesn’t think women need to smile in order to look pretty and conform to the perception of a typical ‘happy woman’
“I am enjoying my day as a very happy person; I do NOT need to walk around with a plastered smile across my face. If I want to smile, I smile, but that’s my choice, thank you. I knew I wanted to start a line that represented me and my attitude, and Resting Bitch Face just seemed too obvious to not roll with it,” she said.
The logo itself, Leila explains, was born at a Halloween party. “My friends and I were drawing with glow paint on a canvas on the wall, and one of my friends tried to draw boobs but they looked so bad we turned them into eyes and a mouth. That piece of canvas was cut off and hung in my room, so when it was time to come up with a logo for RBF, I went into my room and saw the eyes and thought, I could add to that and just give it some more personality. My friend suggested the raised eyebrow because it mimics my usual attitude-filled gaze,” said Leila.
Leila stresses that although it all felt like a natural process, RBF wouldn’t have been possible without a the people who supported her, including creative directors, models, and photographers, many of whom are fellow NYU students.
“Nothing has ever felt forced with this, which has been dope.”
RBF has so far stuck mainly to hoodies, hats, and t-shirts, but Leila speaks eagerly about the brand’s future plans. “Fall is my favorite season, and I don’t want to give away too much for the fall collection, but expect to see more collaborations with local New York artists, and maybe even some RBF skate decks,” she said.
Because what better way to combat catcallers than to ride past them, swing an Alpha flip and flash them with your beautiful Resting Bitch Face.
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