In May, former Victoria’s Secret model Kylie Bisutti released an autobiography, I’m No Angel, in which she recollects her transition from lingerie model to do-gooding Christian housewife.
Now four months pregnant, Bisutti has taken her evangelism one step further: she's released a Christian clothing line called God Inspired Fashion, a sportswear label with clothes blanketed in Bible verses and proverbs. It aspires to be the first full-service clothing brand devoted to Christianity—and even offers children’s clothes covered in Christian slogans.
While conceived only in January, God Inspired Fashion officially launched online last month with offerings for men, women, and kids—capitalizing on the buzz still surrounding Bisutti’s book, which was recently commissioned for a third reprint. And while the label (which was created in collaboration with Bisutti’s family in Idaho) is a religious venture, Bisutti also aims for it to be trendy. “What we really want to focus on is getting God’s word into the world,” Bisutti, 23, told The Daily Beast of her label’s intentions. “But we really want it to be fashionable and up to date. It’s why we have a lot of neon stuff right now—that’s what’s really in right now.”
Doing with Bible verses what Juicy Couture did with catchy butt slogans, God Inspired Fashion offers an array of proverbs screen-printed on casual separates. Each piece is emblazoned with a Bible camp-worthy exclamation, such as "Saved," "The Lord is my Strength," and "Fear God." The label's men’s and boys's designs express an Ed Hardy-type edge, with coveted embellishments like contrast stitching and rhinestones. Its larger range of women’s options offers cropped sequined denim vests and peasant skirts, on top of skinny jeans with proverbs running down one leg in bright, oversized script.
According to Bisutti, the line is the first of its kind. “There are actually a few other Christian clothing companies out there, but they namely focus on T-shirts and hats,” she said. “This is really the first one that has jeans, and blazers, and handbags. It’s the first one to cover everything.” She’s most excited about the brand’s range of skinny jeans. “It was really important for me to include them, since it’s such a staple for everyone right now in their clothes,” she said of the style. “Even guys are wearing those now, and so we have skinny jeans for guys as well.” (However, upon consulting the brand’s website, The Daily Beast could find only bootcut men’s jeans.
Bisutti thinks the label is a good communication tool for Christians who are too shy to vocalize their beliefs. “I know when I first became a Christian I was scared to tell people,” she says. “I didn’t know what to say and I thought that if I didn’t know what to say, I’d look stupid. If I had something like this to open the door, it would have been so much easier for me.”
She thinks the brand is adaptable for people who believe in other forms of Christianity as well. “I think a lot of Catholics are going to like the clothing,” she says. “And I know a lot of my Mormon friends are really interested in the line.”
But not everyone is so ecstatic. “The only group right now that we haven’t gotten good feedback from are atheists,” Bisutti said. “They are really against the children’s line, and having Bible verses on children’s clothing." According to her, the blowback isn’t entirely a bad thing. “People have to look and read the Bible verses to even give a negative critique, so at least we are getting the word into their lives,” she says.
But to Bisutti, God Inspired Fashion’s children’s range is the brand’s most important component. “One of our goals is to spread the message in schools, where bullying is such a huge thing,” she says. “It’s important for children to be able to go and spread the message and for hearts to be changed because of what kids read on their clothes.” As the label's site states: “Help put God’s word back in schools. Start a revival!”
For now, the brand is available for purchase only through its website, where it’s modeled on a group of giggling girls and awkwardly posed children. Considering that the label was partially conceived to exploit Bisutti’s newfound fame, it’s surprising that she does not appear in a single promotional image. “I’ve been doing so many speaking engagements to promote a healthy self-image and haven’t been promoting that I am a model,” she says. “I didn’t want to go back on what I was promoting. I feel like I have more of a standard typical model body—when I walk around the streets, people say, ‘Oh, she must be a model.’ I wanted [the website’s models] to be more an everyday-person body type.”
According to Bisutti, God Inspired Fashion is already off to a running start. While currently available only in the United States, she says that she has already received email requests from fans in France, Germany, Mexico, and Canada. “I definitely see it being a huge brand in the future,” she told us of the project.
With her blend of evangelical talents, model appearance, and Victoria’s Secret Cinderella story (she was selected to walk in the brand’s 2009 show through a nationwide competition), Bisutti has already become media catnip. She gained so much attention that her public feud with Victoria’s Secret in the lead-up to I’m No Angel’s release almost landed her in court. “It kind of went down the legal road, and then, thankfully, we were able to end it before anything progressed,” Bisutti said of her relationship with the lingerie company. “After they read the book they realized there were no grounds for the statements they came out with.”
It's a good thing, as you'd be hard-pressed to find a press clipping about her evangelical efforts without mention of her prior work as a Victoria's Secret Angel. “I’m pretty sure everyone refers to me as that, even when I do speaking events,” Bisutti says. “Hopefully one day it will be ‘author and designer,’ or something different.”