PAIGE Denim Founder on Supporting Survivors and Corporate Responsibility

Each month, RAINN highlights a member of its National Leadership Council. The NLC is a group of dedicated individuals who have shown their commitment to RAINN’s mission of supporting survivors and ending sexual violence.

This month, RAINN sat down with Paige Adams-Geller, founder and creative director of PAIGE. Her entrepreneurial spirit took her from working as one of the top denim fit models in the industry to launching her namesake collection in 2004. In late 2006, Adams-Geller launched a men’s line with the same commitment to quality and attention to detail. With the help of her leadership and vision, what started as a women’s denim brand quickly expanded into a full lifestyle collection for men and women, sold at premium retailers internationally. Today, she sits at the helm of PAIGE as the first female founder in the denim industry, continuing to lead with her commitment to cutting edge design and passion for creating pieces that you will live in. In addition to serving on RAINN’s NLC, she is a member of the board of the Rape Foundation, on the Board of Councilors for Annenberg School at USC, a trained volunteer at the Stuart House, and a supporter of many other organizations, including NEDA and the Advot Project.

What inspired you to become part of RAINN’s National Leadership Council?

I know firsthand the importance of having a support system to lean on in the wake of sexual violence. At the time I was raped, there wasn’t a safe space for me to share what I had experienced. Isolation and trauma forced me to turn my suffering inwards. I often say that I was in an abusive relationship with myself. Being able to mentor and support other survivors of sexual violence through RAINN has been an incredible part of my life. I believe wholeheartedly in RAINN’s promise to “Thrive Together.”

You’ve done a number of fundraisers for RAINN over the years and found many ways to use your business to both raise funds and promote awareness of sexual violence. How has this issue become important to your business and your brand?

I created PAIGE to empower women through fashion, creativity, and style. Supporting RAINN is a natural extension of that philosophy. Bringing together two important parts of my life has enriched our business and my work with RAINN.

What do we need to do as a country to prevent sexual violence?

On a societal level there are so many things we can do to prevent sexual violence: promote healthy sexuality, improve resources for women and families, improve safety and victim services, etc. On a personal level, support and protect the people around you. Lead with love and compassion.

Do you feel special motivation about this issue as a business leader?

Yes, I feel it is our responsibility. As a business, we make sure to set an example by consistently applying policies that create a safe work environment; this is something I hope will continue to spread in the fashion industry.

In terms of company culture, they say this always starts at the top. I have tried to share my personal philosophy of love and kindness. Over the years, I believe it has become part of the strength of our brand.

How can we all be better supporters and advocates for survivors in our lives?

Certainly giving your time, resources, or voice to a valuable foundation like RAINN is a great way to contribute. Use your vote to defend policies and representatives that advocate for survivors. Your support could also be vital to a friend or family member who reaches out.

What is your message to survivors?

You are not alone. There is a community at RAINN and elsewhere that can support you when you’re ready. This isn’t the story of your life, it’s just a part of your story. Let your dreams shape your future.

On Denim Day—April 28, 2021—PAIGE is donating 20 percent of online sales proceeds to RAINN. Denim Day is an annual, national day of awareness that encourages participants to wear jeans or other denim clothing as symbols of believing survivors and asserting that consent has nothing to do with your clothing. Follow @RAINN on social media to get updates and post your own #DenimDay photo in solidarity.