Model and Fashion Designer Natasha Lambkin Tells Why She Chose to Leave Skimpy Behind

Latasha Lambkin fashion
Lambkin in the "Forgiven Jumpsuit." (Photo: Tommy Chung)

At 23, Natasha Lambkin was living what she thought was her best life as a successful print and commercial model in New York. But after Lambkin recommitted her life to God, the “sex sells” modeling industry lost its lustrous appeal. On the dawn of 2020, she released N A T A S H A, a line of modest apparel for women who want to be chic and beautiful without bearing it all.

Lambkin spoke with us about her career change and what makes clothes immodest.

Natasha, can you talk about your transition from modeling to starting a modesty clothing line?

At the peak of my modeling career I felt this sense of emptiness, but I didn’t know where it was coming from. Although I was getting bookings left and right, I felt really far away from God. So I started to pray and ask God to reveal what it was, and that’s when I started to feel like I wanted to cover up more with certain modeling gigs. I started to look at the clothes I was modeling and wearing, and I wasn’t comfortable wearing them anymore. I felt kind of dirty. It was just a feeling that came out of nowhere… That’s when I knew that God wanted me to change my style of dressing.

Modesty is an outdated concept inside and outside many church communities, and there’s no consensus within the church on the topic. Do you think that skin exposure is synonymous with immodesty? For example, is wearing a bikini or speedos an automatic “no-no?” Or is modesty more of a state of mind and reflection of the heart?

To me modesty is subjective because it is a state of one’s mind and heart that will exude externally. You can cover up, but everyone’s opinion about how you should cover up is different. For example, I don’t feel comfortable showing cleavage, but other people may believe that I need to be covered up from my ankle to my neck. It’s subjective.

Latasha Lambkin Survivor Tulip Jumpsuit
Lambkin in the “Survivor Tulip Jumpsuit.” (Photo: Tommy Chung)

I grew up in a Black, Pentecostal holiness church, and for many years I didn’t feel comfortable wearing anything too far above the knee. As I’ve aged, I’ve realized that I feel fine wearing shorter things. I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means that our bodies are God’s beautiful creations and not just sexual beings. I want to reclaim the beauty that is my body, apart from sexuality.

I concur about feeling good about your beauty and that it doesn’t have to connect with anything that’s sexual. I pray about what I wear first: God, is this a reflection of you? God, should I design this?

Let’s talk about your designs. I personally love bold colors and bright patterns, but this particular collection has a lot of muted colors and no patterns, but is just as impactful. What are your hopes for the women who wear it?

I wanted the collection to be muted and natural because I wanted to show women — and individuals period — that you don’t need bold colors or to be adorned with certain things to feel that you are beautiful. Less is more, basically.

I noticed that your designs have Bible- inspired names. Can you describe a couple?

Sure. “She is Worthy” is a very regal dress. I wanted consumers to know that they are royalty, a part of God’s kingdom. I also like “The Forgiven Jumpsuit.” It shows your shape, but in a very forgiving way. I like that it’s a jumpsuit, but it’s not a tight jumpsuit. I like the feel of the fabric…

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    Written by Chante Griffin

    Chanté Griffin is a Los Angeles-based writer and entertainer. She blogs at Beneath the Surface: Race, Culture, Christ and is the creator of YouTube’s When Black History Firsts Go Wrong series. In her free time, she enjoys living her best black life.

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