Jamie McDell announced as new face of BONDS New Zealand

BONDS New Zealand has announced their new brand ambassador, kiwi singer songwriter and environmental activist, Jamie McDell.

The announcement coincides with the launch of BONDS latest campaign, MASH UP. A collection of underwear that champions individuality, self-confidence and originality. To celebrate the launch of MASH UP, BONDS and Snapchat have warmed up to produce a range of bespoke filters that will roll our nationwide Thursday 27 July.

We sat down with the singer to chat about becoming the new face of BONDS New Zealand, the MASH UP collection and the things in her life that motivate her to make a change for the better.

Congratulations on becoming the face of an iconic underwear line like BONDS. Can you tell us how it came about and why you felt it was the right move?

Thank you! It was really as simple as receiving an email from their representative saying how they thought I would be a great fit. I was so excited, overwhelmed and quite honestly, surprised. I must admit it is something I did have to think about just because, for anyone, you would think, oh my gosh, what will people think? I just had to snap out of that and go no way I am really proud of where I am in my life, my body and everything that goes with it. I thought - I've just got to do this for me.

I was also really drawn to this particular campaign because of the theme around MASH UP that is celebrating individuality and diversity. I think that sometimes we get so used to seeing one specific body type in women. I just love that BONDS did ask me knowing that I am not necessarily a model or a classic image. It just seemed like such a natural thing for me to do and no lies, honest truth, I have been wearing BONDS forever. It was just one of those things I could not turn down. 

As you said, you are not a classic model image, tell us what is your perspective on body image and what do you hope other women will take away from being the new face?

I feel like throughout my music career I have always tried to come across as a very approachable person and it is funny because body image is something that I have not divided into the conversation about before. I have been so lucky with the family and friends I have got, but when it came to being a teenager and growing up in the music industry with the ups and downs, it was not easy.

If I was asked to do this at eighteen years old where I had an intensely fast metabolism and I was probably eating takeaways three times a week, I don't think it would have been right. I think I would have replicated that model look a bit more and that isn't the right message.

I feel like right now is such a perfect time to be involved with this campaign because now, as a twenty-four-year-old and young adult, I have come to a place where I really love and appreciate the body I have. I hope this campaign allows me to start more conversation about things like, how your body feels, what it allows you do in life rather than simply what it looks like.

BONDS have teamed up with Snapchat for the MASH UP collection and we cannot wait for the release of bespoke filters this Thursday. On the topic of social media, what is your stance on sharing content with followers and knowing when to draw the line?

It is such an interesting and personal topic. For me, it has always been about having a bigger perspective. When I first got social media, it was about showing people the behind the scenes of my music life. I wanted my fan base to see when and how the music was made. It is about inviting people into what my real world looks like so when I release a record, they can then see where the inspiration has come from.

In the end, social media is there for me to connect and expand my brand which has been a huge positive. However, I am aware that there are negatives. I know there are a lot of fans that are younger than I am that haven't got the thick skin that you get from being in the music industry. We all have our moments though, I use to think I had really big shoulders and for a while, I was insecure. When I got into life-saving, I realised that it was one of the most important attributes which changed my whole idea around my body concerns.

You have just recently launched DUNES. What has lead you from just being Jamie McDell to creating DUNES with your sister, Tessa?

It was another one of those things that just felt natural. Tess and I had separate upbringings, just in a way that life happens, and I think through that we lost touch. When you get older you naturally get that pull towards your sister because you're at an age where you can relate. For us, we do have quite different personalities and interests apart from music. It was like, well if we are going to get to know each other again, why not do it this way.

We tried a few songs at first and it was all very relaxed. Then we realised the formula worked quite well, so we ended up super excited and decided to spend the whole year making an album! We're really stoked with the result and we're excited to release some more stuff. 

What are your favourite pieces from the new BONDS MASH UP collection?

This collection is so perfect for me, because as close friends will know, I never wear matching stuff, like not even matching socks. I love all the pieces but I think the bold and colourful tops matched with simples bottoms is a favourite.

What are the three things you could never leave the house without?

My guitar always seems to follow me where ever I go, because you just never know! I would never leave without my KeepCup for all my coffees - I do love my flat whites. And I actually must say, I would never leave without my favourite pair of Harley Davidson boots. I wear them all year round. I must have had them for four or five years now and they really are that item that gets cooler with age.


Shop the new MASH UP collection from BONDS online now

Tessa Stockdale