A year after Kim Kardashian West helped free Alice Johnson from prison, the Skims Solutionwear creator tapped the great-grandmother to star in her shapewear brand's debut campaign

By Kaitlyn Frey
August 29, 2019 03:08 PM
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Kim Kardashian West helped free Alice Marie Johnson after 21 years in prison for a nonviolent drug offense last year, but their relationship didn’t end there. Since then, Kardashian West, 38, has maintained a special relationship with the 64-year-old great-grandmother, welcoming Johnson’s family over for a home cooked meal in Calabasas and even writing the foreward to Johnson’s memoirAfter Life: My Journey from Incarceration to FreedomNow, Kardashian West recruited Johnson to help her with another exciting project: the launch of her inclusive solution-focused shapewear brand, SKIMS Solutionwear.

To kick off SKIMS’ campaign featuring real women, Kardashian West asked Johnson to star in a moving video as she modeled the black sculpting bodysuit. Over the next three weeks, more campaign videos will drop featuring 26 women sharing intimate stories about why they love their bodies, and how SKIMS enables them to feel their best.

Vanessa Beecroft

“I was serving a 25 year sentence without the possibility of parole. Kim saw a video of me. She heard my story. She said, ‘This is so unfair.’ And by the way, I didn’t even know who Kim Kardashian was!” Johnson said in her moving campaign video. “She went to war for me to fight for my freedom. That’s why I call her my ‘war angel,’ because nothing stood between her and my freedom.”

Vanessa Beecroft

She continued: “I was set free on June the 6th 2018. So now every moment in life is precious to me. This shapewear makes me feel that I can walk into the store, I can pick up something that I normally wouldn’t think about wearing and I can put it on, and it’s going to look great on me.”

Vanessa Beecroft

“This shapewear makes me feel free!” Johnson proudly said as she modeled an embellished gown with the SKIMS Solutionwear piece worn beneath it.

In addition to Johnson, other women of varying ages, ethnicities, backgrounds and professions participated in the SKIMS campaign including Kardashian West’s longtime best friend Allison Statter, author Arielle Estoria, entrepreneur Kristen Noel Crawley, Kardashian West’s trainer Mel Alcantara, Muay Thai fighter Mia Kang, beauty YouTuber Teni Panosian and more.

Earlier this week Kardashian West announced SKIMS will launch on Sept. 10. “I love the idea that the pieces will be the closest thing to someone’s skin, skimming with amazingly soft and supportive fabrics which accentuate the best parts of our bodies. Available in sizes XXS – 5XL, SKIMS Solutionwear™ is for every body. SKIMS.COM. #ShowYourSKIMS,” she wrote on Instagram.

The line consists of bikini briefs, thongs, bras, waist trainers, bodysuits, thermal leggings and more, retailing from $22 to $98. They will be sold in sizes XXS to 5XL and in nine different tonal colors at launch, with even more shades coming as the brand continues to expand.

Kardashian West’s tight-knit relationship with Johnson began when she started campaigning for the great-grandmother’s presidential pardon in 2018 after learning about the case online. Johnson was given a life sentence for a first-time nonviolent drug offense after she helped facilitate communications in a drug-trafficking case.

NBC News

The star eventually met with President Donald Trump earlier in Washington, D.C. to discuss prison reform and sentencing. On June 6, Johnson was released from a federal prison in Aliceville, Alabama, where she had been serving her sentence for more than 20 years.

RELATED VIDEO: Kim Kardashian Lyft Partnership to Help 5,000 Soon-to-Be Released Inmates with Job Search

“It became this mission that I just didn’t want to give up,” Kardashian West said of getting her legal team involved in Johnson’s case in a Today interview. “I think to some people it might seem like, ‘Okay, Kim made a phone call to the president.’ “

She continued, “We had been in talks and working on this for seven months.”

“Thank you is not big enough,” Johnson said of her gratitude for Kardashian West. “I think I have to walk my thank you out. I have to live it out, for her, for my family, for the supporters.”

And for Kardashian West, she said, “I hope maybe this inspires more people to talk to the people in power — that you can have an effect over them for the greater good of other people.”

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