Because She Can: This 22 Year Old Fashionista Is Making Streetwear For Strong Women

Fashion that thinks. Fashion that inspires. Fashion that matters.

Leah Kirsch is living the dream. The Fordham University graduate launched her fashion company Millioneiress just last October and it's already becoming one of the hottest street wear brands in America.

And she's just 22 years old.

So what sets Millioneiress apart? Well, besides the fact that she and her friends do all the modeling for the brand and her 11,000+ Instagram followers proudly display her logos and slogans all over the internet, the real strength of Millioneiress is in its founder's vision.

She took the time to talk with us about feminist fashion and what it means to be a millioneiress.

Millioneiress means to be rich, being you.

Maggie Wilson for

"The Millioneiress brand encompasses more than just clothes, it represents a lifestyle," she writes. "Millioneiress means to be rich, being you. Rich in character and in life; confidently and uninhibited. A Millioneiress femme never makes statements that sound like questions. She"s not afraid to speak up or own her voice.

"Ultimately, Millioneiress is created to empower girls to be bold, confident, and unapologetically themselves."

"The girls in my photos all embody my brand's mantra in so many ways, that's what makes it so easy to get beautiful photographs. Some of my photos are slightly edited - color, fun backgrounds, etc. - but I wouldn't ever change the composition or authenticity of a woman in my photo because, well, that would defeat my whole dream of showing girls that when you love yourself, your beauty will shine through, inevitably."

Maggie Wilson for

When asked about unrealistic body images and the ongoing criticism of the use of photoshop in fashion photography, she replied, "One line I've always lived by is, "Don't forget to fall in love with yourself first." I feel that the fashion industry has created this unattainable body image that simply isn't realistic. As a feminist, it makes me irate because all women should empower each other to feel great about who they are entirely."

"My ultimate goal and dream is to let every girl (young and old) know that whoever she is, is already more than enough; confidence is the best thing she can wear."

"I want my products to empower girls to walk with their head held high, state her opinion so boldly it frightens people, and, most importantly, never waste her attitude. Besides, it"s our world, they"re just living in it."

"I knew I needed to spread this message globally – starting on a smaller scale, of course. I wanted to empower girls to embrace their attitude; their bossiness, sassiness, whatever it may be. So, what better way to spread this message than creating clothes that these girls would spread themselves?"

"In college, I noticed too many girls were seeking out a future husband instead of focusing on their future. – I do want to note that pro-women doesn"t necessarily mean anti-men. – However, after living in New York City, I met dozens of amazing women working in the business world. Most who were very "bossy," which I admired 100%. It was then that I realized Whitney Houston put it best: 'Even if this is a man"s world, I like being a woman in it; see, men can"t wear dresses, but women can wear the pants.' I think it"s great to be a wife and mother, but why stop there?"

"Don't forget to fall in love with yourself first."

Maggie Wilson for

One of her best-selling lines carries the slogan "Because I can," emblazoned on phone cases, snapbacks, and t-shirts. We asked her about the origins of it and another one of our favorites.

"I always used to do things and like things that didn't fit the cookie-cutter, you know, unconventional."

"My family, friends, people would always ask me why or how I did something and for me it was a no-brainer..."

"Because I can..."

"Le Duh."

"Throughout grade school, I found myself always wondering why girls were constantly second-guessing themselves. More and more friends began asking me for advice; I normally responded: What would make you happy? Good. Do that, and don"t look back. Be confident, like a Millioneiress. If you"re shy, that"s fine, be shy. If you love to sing, sing everything!"

"Don't over think it, just do it because it's fun and it makes you happy."

Maggie Wilson for

The 'Not Impressed' tee captures Millioneiress' sharper edge.

As for the future of Ms. Kirsch's brand?

"I want to continue to grow Millioneiress and really, truly make a difference in girls' lives. I receive such an amazing response on social media, I want this to grow and expand globally. I will continue creating products and start selling in retail stores. And hopefully one day, I can have some sort of party or seminar to bring together my Millioneiress Crew, which includes customers, my amazingly loyal friends, and all my inspirations from around the world."

We hope we can help her get there.

"It's Our World. They're Just Living In It."

Maggie Wilson for

Use code APLUS at checkout to receive 15% off your entire order at Millioneiress.

You can also follow Millioneiress on their Instagram account and on Facebook. We are indebted to photographer Maggie Wilson for arranging this interview. Please check out her photography here.

As always, young artists and designers benefit by your helping to spread their influence when you share with your friends.

...and your friends will thank you for the discount.

Source: all images used with permission courtesy of Leah Kirsch via Instagram and Millioneiress and via Maggie Wilson.