StyleLikeU was founded by mother-daughter duo, Elisa Goodkind & Lily Mandelbaum.
Before starting StyleLikeU, Elisa was a fashion stylist working for top fashion magazines and celebrities. After twenty years in the business, she was frustrated by how the industry, which had once been a home to artistry and rebellion, had become about selling status, conformity and increasingly formulaic ideals of beauty. At the same time, Elisa’s daughter, Lily, was a teenager struggling deeply with her body image. In an oversaturated media culture dominated by models who looked nothing like her, she was consumed with trying to change herself physically in order to be and look like someone else.
Elisa and Lily chose to create StyleLikeU as an alternative to this disempowering status quo. In 2009, the duo picked up a home video camera and launched their "Closet" series, documenting diverse individuals who were challenging fashion industry norms in their style. In 2014, they launched, “The What’s Underneath Project,” a series of docu-style video portraits where people of all ages, races, body types, genders and abilities remove layers of clothing while sharing honest, empowering stories related to style, self-image and identity. What’s Underneath quickly became a viral phenomenon, empowering viewers around the world to reject society’s limited norms and discover a sense of freedom and comfort in their own skin.
With thousands of messages from fans around the world whose lives have been changed by StyleLikeU and who want to share their stories, in 2017, Elisa and Lily are expanding globally, creating international content, hosting open-call What’s Underneath events for the public, facilitating self-acceptance workshops in colleges and communities worldwide, and finishing production on their short documentary, I am What’s Underneath.
The StyleLikeU Manifesto for a Self-Acceptance Revolution