An interview with founder of faith-based brand Tashee Inc., Natasha Lambkin.

text by Katia Gorshkova

If there’s one thing we don’t see very often in the fashion industry, it’s the combination of clothes and spirituality, faith. Perhaps this stems from the fact that fashion is very superficial; the clothes we wear are used to communicate without words, to create a strong first impression before even properly meeting someone.

Natasha Lambkin, founder and CEO of Tashee Inc., hopes to change that narrative. When she created her company a couple years ago, she was hoping to inspire women to grow into their purpose, to focus on their own potential, and to become confident with who they are. Natasha worked as both a professional model, as well as behind the scenes in the corporate world of fashion, so she is no stranger to the ups and downs of the industry.

She talked to us about the importance of putting her trust in God, and how she gracefully combines faith into her clothing with the goal of helping others.

Faith in fashion is a pretty rare concept. What inspired you to start a clothing line influenced by faith?

When God first gave me the inclination to do this, it was to teach women the importance of modesty. Not just externally, but also internally. There are other modest clothing lines that don’t teach anything about God. Because anyone can be covered up, but how does your heart look? I wanted to change lives through my fashion line. To me that was the most important thing. That’s what inspired me to pursue this call in my life. Fashion can be a very dark industry, and why not be the light?

What do you mean when you say that fashion can be a dark industry?

We have a lot of depictions of what beauty is. We’re so crammed with so many different ideologies of who you should be, and that you’re not enough. When I look at all these different ideologies, to me it doesn’t seem positive and I just want to make a difference. I want to tell women, “you are beautiful, and you don’t have to compromise or make yourself any different from whom you were born to be.”

You talk about modesty a lot. Can you tell me what you mean by that?

Modesty to me means that we shouldn’t just adorn ourselves with outer beauty but focus more on the internal beauty. That’s what is most important; our good works, what we do, not our appearance. The goodness inside us will exude externally. That’s what modesty means to me.

Why was it important for you to combine fashion and faith for Tashee?

It was important for me because I didn’t want it to be just a clothing line. I wanted it to have a deeper purpose. I wanted to change lives through it, and to instill hope to my consumers. With it being a ministry at the same, I believe it would help people. Not just to look good, but to feel good on the inside.

Well the fashion industry definitely needs more people like you!

Thank you! It may be hard, but when I hear people’s testimonies about how my ministry has changed their lives, it is so impactful. That’s why I do what I do.

That’s beautiful. I think that’s when the distinction between religion and spirituality is important. Where do you get the inspiration for your collections?

I get the inspiration from spiritual intuition and from my prophetic dreams. For instance, I came up with a new line called N A T A S H A, and the new collection is called Redemption. I knew the whole line was natural and organic, so I wanted to use fabrications that were natural as well. I wanted the colours to be neutral like white, cream, blue, red. Each colour represents something. For instance, the denim blue represents the heavenly skies. The red represents the blood of Jesus. The cream represents sheepskin. The white represents purity.

You say, on your website, that every piece of your collection carries “a very special story.” Can you give an example?

For instance, the Forgiven Jumpsuit has a very forgiving but yet modest shape. For the denim blue colour that I chose, I was inspired by the Heavenly skies. I feel like when we want God to forgive us for something, we always look up to the sky. Another one I can share with you, is the Survivor Jumpsuit. It’s a tan jumpsuit with kind of “Hammer” pants. When travellers go on expeditions, from my observations they often wear khakis. For them to go on that dangerous expedition… I look at them as survivors. I wanted to create an outfit that was inspired by that. I believe that anything we go through in life and we succeed in, it makes us survivors. When I go through a spiritual battle, I’m a survivor.

It’s so interesting to see how each piece and each detail is thought through. There’s really a story behind everything.

I’m telling you; it’s very spiritually led! Even the fashion show we did, it was called the Redemption Experience. We depicted the time when Jesus had walked the Earth. The runway was covered with sand. People were seated on the floor. The food served was inspired by the Bible. We had an orchestra and an Opera gospel singer. She was amazing. A lot of people were impacted by that, and we got so many testimonies from people about how their lives changed and they started going to church. It was amazing! My events and the things I do for the brand are not just for show. It’s to help people spiritually.

Some people would say that religion is a very divisive issue. How does your company help bring people together?

Well, for me… I believe it’s not all about religion, it’s about relationship. We, as a company, unashamedly promote the gospel of Jesus Christ. Whether someone believes it or not, we will never enforce our beliefs. We help as many people as we can, but I believe that whether you do something good or bad, people will always have an issue with it. Our goal is to share the goodness of God. Whether it’s received or not, it doesn’t hinder us from doing so. If you study the Bible, you’ll see that Jesus wasn’t religious. We try our best to bring people together. There are people who follow us who are not Christian, but they believe in our message.

I noticed Tashee is involved in a lot of philanthropic work, especially with empowering and helping women. Why is that an important issue for you?

I want to inspire women to see that they’re beautiful just as they are. Women are pressured to be a certain way, to look a certain way. I just want to let them know that; you don’t have to feel that pressure. You are beautiful as is. You do not have to change anything. You are wonderfully made. My mission is to uplift women. I do that through the events that I curate, programs that I have started within my company, and will release later. But my mission is to instill that confidence within women.

More people need to embrace who they are, instead of looking like everyone else. Do you think there’s a different future for the fashion industry… A different direction?

Yes, absolutely! I believe there can be agencies that could teach women about their worth. We need to work with different types of looks and beauty as well. I believe that can and will happen. I definitely do.

Photos

Fashion Designer: Natasha Lambkin Make-up Artist– Darline Balthazzar Photographer– Tommy Chung Wardrobe Stylist– Nadine Irvine