GLAMOUR WOMAN OF THE YEAR 2016 – ASHLEY GRAHAM

“I’m really trying to make a change in the industry,” she says. “I’m trying to have more quality clothing for curvy women.”

“Be your own woman. Be your own kind of role model. And remember that the women around you are women you can lift up. You can change their lives.” ~ Ashley Graham for Glamour Magazine

Glamour magazine has named curvy supermodel Ashley Graham as one of the ‘Women of the Year 2016.’ See all winners here.

This news is no surprise for me at all. Ashley is making waves every week and sometimes several times a week, she has achieved the superstar status since being on the cover of SI swim. We saw her on the cover of so many fashion magazines, although one in Vogue is still waiting to happen. We saw her at so many events, rocking the red carpet with costume made dresses and she always represents us plus size women in a beautiful way. Ashley has been featured on the covers of Elle QuebecLondon TimesCover MagazineStyle Magazine and The Edit, and has been featured in the Shape Issues of VogueHarper’s BazaarGlamour and Elle UK. She has appeared regularly in several Levi’s, Calvin Klein and Marina Rinaldi campaigns; her list of regular clients includes Nordstrom, H&M, Old Navy, Bloomingdale’s and more. Besides this examplary resume, she also turned into a Designer for lingerie with Addition Elle and for swimsuit with Swimsuitsforall. Although she said many times that she doesn’t want to be labelled as plus size in which I don’t fully agree, I still think that she deserves to be admired as a role model for young women. She has been involved in media controversies ever since her Lane Bryant ad was banned, because it showed a curvy and sexy woman which Ashley is undoubtedly.

Therefore, we use her nomination as ‘Woman of the Year,’ to share our favourite images of her.

 

We from Style & Curve Magazine also created a lot of unwanted online controversy whenever we shared an image of her. The reactions of the fans towards her images go from praising her to shaming her as ‘fat,’ ‘obese,’ ‘unhealthy,’ and the shamers accuse us of ‘promoting obesity.’ All these accusations are pure nonsense and we ignore it, because we know better. Nevertheless, this will not stop us promoting beautiful, sexy, confident and curvy women like Ashley Graham – EVER!

Kind regards,

Lyz Lupo

Editor-In-Chief
Style & Curve Magazine

LYZ LUPO: #DROPTHEPLUS VS #KEEPTHEPLUS – THE ONLY THING THAT HAS TO BE CHANGED IS THE STIGMA ON THE LABEL ‘PLUS SIZE’!

Today is the 15th of March 2016, and it’s the sad moment where I had to realize that my beloved Plus Size Community is about to split into two different branches. I don’t know what to do anymore. This is my first personal post as the editor-in-chief of Style & Curve. The recent incidents inspired me to write this, but let’s start the story from the beginning.

  1. The Problem

‘I think the word “plus-sized” is totally outdated….I don’t want to be called a label, I want to be called a model.’ ~ Ashley Graham

This is one of the statements that Ashley Graham gave a few days ago during SXSW panel and the most provocative one. I feel hurt and dissapointed, not by the intention behind those words, but by the way they were expressed.

A few days ago I saw the pictures from Ashley’s shooting with the Cosmopolitan, and in this interview she practically said the same thing again. See picture below:

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© Ashley Graham for Cosmopolitan

This statement shows that she supports the #DROPTHEPLUS movement. And not only that, she and 4 other ‘PLUS SIZE’ models created their own charitable movement called Alda. See below what this project is all about:

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© ALDA women

So their intentions are good. Additionally, see the quote below:

The fashion industry is in the middle of an acceptance revolution. Models of all shapes, sizes, and gender identities aren’t just being acknowledged, but celebrated. At the forefront of this revolution is 28-year-old model Ashley Graham, whose TED Talk went viral this year, and a collective of models calling themselves ALDA, working tirelessly to promote self-love, health, and confidence. ~ Yahoo Style

I am totally for an acceptance of all sizes in the mainstream fashion industry, but their wish to keep out any labels and to remove the term ‘PLUS SIZE’ is nothing that I can support. Their idea is similar to the proposition of the #DROPTHEPLUS campaign.

Last year in February the hashtag #DROPTHEPLUS was all over the news after ‘PLUS SIZE’ model Stefania Ferrario, shared a picture of herself where she refers to herself only as a ‘model’:

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© Stefania Ferrario / Instagram

She created then the page named #DROPTHEPLUS and added this information about what it’s all about:

“The media regularly publishes photos of models and emphasises that they are “plus sized models”. Why are they not referred to simply as “models”?“Plus” implies bigger than “normal”.  Any model above US size 4 is considered a “plus sized” model. The average American woman is US size 14. Mixed with all the other body image pressures facing women, the implication that most women are “plus sized”, not “normal” is very dangerous to women and society. The origins of the term “plus size” hints at its outdatedness. It arose in the 1920s to describe the clothes that did not meet the decade’s notorious, slender body ideals. It’s a great step forward that models in the current “plus sized” category are now being used by major fashion labels, but it’s a step backwards to have them constantly referred to as “plus sized”. When the major labels first started using these models, perhaps the “plus sized” term played a positive role in alerting the public to this important change. But it’s now time for complete acceptance, it’s time to drop the label. They’re all “models”, no matter what shape or size. The fashion industry is one of the world’s most influential industries on women. To be labelling a size range “plus”, that actually encompasses the majority of women in the world, is not only harmful, it’s absurd! If something in an industry is causing damage to people, then it needs to be reformed. #droptheplus is a part of a much bigger movement to reform the hyper-influential fashion industry. Italy, Spain and Israel adopted laws in 2013 to prevent the industry from using models with an excessively low Body Mass Index (BMI) and France is currently in the process of bringing in the same laws. Things are beginning to change for the better.”

After this photo was released, a heated online discussion erupted. Suddenly, everyone wanted the term ‘PLUS SIZE’ to be removed. I can understand why they said it, but it was almost getting too much for me. I prepared a post about it for Style & Curve, but then I didn’t publish it because there was too much of a fiery discussion about this topic. I felt that I should rather stay quiet, before I say something wrong. However, people discussed about replacing ‘PLUS SIZE’ with the term ‘CURVY’, in which I didn’t mind this being used. In my view, ‘CURVY’ is more unifying. I already used curvy regularly and I still kept using ‘PLUS SIZE’, but the discussion began to cool down. Only until Ashley Graham said it on the Ellen Show that she doesn’t like the term ‘PLUS SIZE’ on February 24, 2016. See the video below:

Watching this video, I thought to myself: “Ashley, why are you proud to be the first ‘PLUS SIZE’ model featured in SI, but still not happy with the term ‘PLUS SIZE’ in general?” And many other people had the same thoughts as me, and here comes their reaction.

  1. The Reaction

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Madeline Figero-Jones & Ashley Graham during the Fashion Night Out by Lane Bryant n September 6th, 2016. Photo by dezignintervention.blog.com

Madeline Figueroa Jones the editor-in-chief of PLUS Model Mag shared the picture of Ashley from the Cosmopolitan shooting a few days ago and said this about the quote: ‘Wow Ashley Graham really? This is a big generalization. Maybe it’s not to your liking but many of us embrace the term plus-size. This is not how we fix the situation; this is how we add fuel to there. smh!!!!’– and here is another one of her comments: ‘We can agree to disagree. The fact is that the term PLUS SIZE is a fashion industry term. When there were no bloggers, magazines and limited clothing companies to offer us clothing WE (the plus size women) used our voice to demand for more. The reason why the industry is where it is, is because we found our pride and created our OWN fashion week Full Figured Fashion Week ™ (New York, Los Angeles and Canada) , our own magazines and get inspiration from plus size bloggers. We adopted this label because we were invisible in the fashion industry. Many of us embrace it and wear it as a badge of honour because we have come from the darkness and are being seen.’ 

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© Phat Girl Fresh

Furthermore, blogger Phat Girl Fresh had to say this about the article quote: ‘I am totally against dropping the plus. To me dropping the plus is an indicator that there is something wrong with the term and that is far from the truth. Yes, we are all women and that is the most important thing however, we are different and we belong to different communities and those communities need to be acknowledged for several reasons. One being that it connects us to one another and that is a vital part of our growth. Another reason is that allows us to be empowered and empower one another.  Curvy, thick, sexylicious and whatever else you want to call yourself should be housed under the community you belong to. Every plus size woman is not curvy, there is a difference between thick and fat.  I really think that statement like this set us back a bit because it divides the community and takes our attention away from more important topics. I also think that it disconnects you from people who look up to you and support you brand.
Just my 2 cent (more like a dollar).’

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© Bianca Bombshell

Pin-Up Model Bianca Bombshell wrote this: .I think there is just an association to the word Plus Size and Fat, and Fat is such a taboo word…that it is almost like some girls are ashamed to be in that category. I think that if you can be proud to say…sure, yeah…I am Plus Size (according to the current standard) and being able to own that label….will help people stop labelling people… we have to own it, be proud of it.’

Jamal Milligan from Jersey City, New Jersey said this: ‘Here’s how I truly feel about it. Maybe I’m a guy and I have no absolute clue on how fashion industries or society work. The term “Plus Size” isn’t a label at all. It’s what is part of us. People, mainly women, been breaking glass cielings for decades, of trying to show that bigger sizes are beautiful, especially when we live in a world that has alot of history and present of discrimination, by gender, sexual orientation, skin color, religion and even size. None of these type of discriminations are exactly the same thing, however, there are so much suffering to breakthroughs that makes have the types of appearances, lifestyles so powerful. What Ashley or Raven Symone said about being “not labeled” is just ignorant and disrespectful to those who fought for them and gave them opportunity to be successful because of them breaking glass cielings of their appearances that they are discriminated for.’

A plus model also responded saying: ‘Well that was a huge slap in the face!! The PLUS SIZE industry has helped shape her career and has provided her with yearssss of support. A shame. Smh’

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© Estrella Fashion Report

Blogger Estrella Fashion Report only had this to say: ‘#PROUDTOBEPLUS’

I can understand that #DROPTHEPLUS movement doesn’t want ‘PLUS SIZE’ to be excluded. I want that too. So, just dropping the ‘PLUS SIZE’ and being left with the problem on how to name all the different sizes is not the solution. I don’t see why Ashley also wants to get rid of the term ‘PLUS SIZE’. She started as a ‘PLUS SIZE’ model and she gets booked as a ‘PLUS SIZE’ model. For the ‘PLUS SIZE’ community her comments feel like a slap in the face, equally for me. The more I hear her saying the same things on and on again, the more I feel insulted. It seems so wrong to hear her saying these words, after she was the lead model in the #PLUSISEQUAL commercial and after being praised for her wonderful achievements as a ‘PLUS SIZE’ model. Therefore, I can totally understand the concerns of the ‘PLUS SIZE’ community regarding #DROPTHEPLUS movement including why they want to #KEEPTHEPLUS. As Madeline said, when no one wanted to promote ‘PLUS SIZE’ fashion the community created their own events. And those events are still very relevant. That’s why we need to #KEEPTHEPLUS alive.

  1. My Solution Proposal

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. ~ Wayne Dyer

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© Style & Curve

What we have going on in the USA is mainly a split between two branches of a movement in two different ways. With Ashley Graham achieving all those amazing things that seemed impossible for ‘PLUS SIZE’ models in the past, now looks as if the movement has reached it’s peak (P.S. It’s only the start and hasn’t reached it’s peak). On one side are the successful models who suddenly don’t want to be labelled ‘PLUS SIZE’ anymore. And on the other side we have the passionate followers, supporters and the creators of the ‘PLUS SIZE’ movement. So let’s face it, the models didn’t make the movement. It started with women like Gwen DeVoe (creator of the #fffweek) and Madeline Figueroa Jones (creator of #PlusModelMag). They are the creators of the ideas that got us into this big international movement.

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Gwen DeVoe (left) and Madeline Figueroa Jones (right)

Moreover, how can we still manage to overcome the segregation from the straight size fashion? Maybe I’m being too positive right now, but how about asking to #ADDTHEPLUS or #INCLUDETHEPLUS? I don’t see any reason to remove a word that has a positive meaning for so many women out there. Why do we need to ask for a change by pushing people away from us? Why can’t we try to unite the different fashion industry sections instead of laying bricks? Is that so difficult? We should suggest a peaceful transition instead of demanding constantly something that will be negative for all of us. The bigger the ‘PLUS SIZE’ events become, the more the straight size fashion section will be happy to work with ‘PLUS SIZE’ brands. The better the ‘PLUS SIZE’ models become, the more models achieve what Ashley did and she has no monopole in this. Our enemies are not the straight size brands; our enemies are not the thin models. The one who wants to exclude is the media. If you look at the audience during a big fashion week event, most people are average size and some are even ‘PLUS SIZE’. They are there because they love what we love: fashion. Sure you have to accept that the designers use mainly straight size models, but my plan in the future is to get them to also use ‘PLUS SIZE’ models. You think that is impossible? It is not if we correct the stigma of the label ‘PLUS SIZE’. ‘PLUS SIZE’ doesn’t mean automatically fat and lazy. Many ‘PLUS SIZE’ women are very active and eat healthier than thinner women. And why is that? Because ‘PLUS SIZE’ women are the ones who have the constant pressure to lose weight. We are getting this told by the media, by our family, by our friends and mostly by our doctors if we go to them. But the truth is, we are all active. Many of us know all the details about diets and some of us are well informed. What hasn’t been widely addressed is that we might have sicknesses that make it harder for us to lose the weight. We all have the right to exist in the way we want to, as long as we hurt no one. So, I can understand why some are #PROUDTOBEPLUS. I can also understand if some models don’t like to be labelled, but I cannot respect an agenda that is going to destroy my beloved ‘PLUS SIZE’ movement. To me all human beings are created equal. I want unity and not segregation!

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© Style & Curve

Kind regards,

Lyz Lupo

 

 

RIVER ISLAND ANNOUNCES OWN PLUS SIZE COLLECTION WITH CANDICE HUFFINE

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© River Island

River Island is a UK fashion brand. With over 60 years of fashion retailing experience, River Island is one of the most well-known and loved brands on the High Street and it has over 350 stores across the UK, Ireland and internationally throughout Asia, the Middle East and Europe, as well as six dedicated online sites operating in four currencies. But the clothes they offer for women only go until size 16.

Now River Island decided to increase their range and created their own plus size collection in sizes 18 – 24. We only saw one sketch so far, therefore we are very excited to see the whole collection. What we can say so far is that their choosen plus model is none other than Candice Huffine:

“We’re excited about giving great fashion to more women, we feel this is the right time for the brand to expand our size range offering,” River Island marketing director Josie Roscop told us this morning. “Ultimately, it’s about fashion and being inclusive.”~ Vogue

 

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© River Island

Candice Huffine is a internationally known and very successful plus model from the US. She was already featured in the Vogue Italy. She was part of the much anticipated #ImNoAngel campaign by Lane Bryant and she is one of the best paid models in the industry.

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© Getty Images

I am happy to see how more and more straight size brands decide to also go plus size. Although the River Island dress above looks pretty much like my own dress from Asos, it is still a good think to know that I can also shop at RI Plus in the future.

Have a nice day and always remember to love yourself and to love your body.

Lyz Lupo

 

2015 WAS A ROCKING YEAR FOR THE CURVY REVOLUTION, BUT 2016 WILL BE MORE SUCCESSFUL!

The year 2015 was already a great year for curvy women. So many things happend that we never thought were possible a few years ago. But they happened and they changed important things regarding the perception of curvy women.

FIRST LET’S SEE WHAT HAPPENED IN 2015:

ASHLEY PART 1 – ASHLEY GRAHAM WAS THE FIRST PLUS SIZE MODEL TO BE FEATURED IN SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

Ashley Graham said about this achievement:

‘I know my curves are sexy and I want everyone else to know that theirs are too.

‘There is no reason to hide and every reason to flaunt. The world is ready for more curves in bikinis.

‘Swimsuitsforall helps women feel confident and sexy in swimsuits and I am so thrilled to be a part of the Curves in Bikinis campaign!’ ~Daily Mail

Even though Ashley was only seen on an advert in the magazine and her fellow model Robyn Lawley became the first official curvy model to work for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, for me her breackthrough is more important since she is bigger than Robyn.

ASHLEY PART 2 – ASHLEY GRAHAM COLLECTION ON THE NEW YORK FASHION WEEK FOR ADDITION ELLE

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© Getty Images

Ashley Graham has since a few years her own collection with Addition Elle and in the year 2015 she appeared with this collection also at the New York Fashion Week:

Now some people might hint out that this is not high fashion and these things don’t belong to the New York Fashion Week. I disagree! Every company that can pay the price of being part of the NY Fashion Week has to gain our respect for that, because it is a really expensive investment. And they would not be the only company making an overpriced show just to sell later “cheap” clothes. Just think about the money Victoria Secret spends on their show each year. The most expensive item on the show is only a bra with diamonds on it. The other lingerie is actually very cheap – just look at their website: https://www.victoriassecret.com/.

ASHLEY PART 3 -#IMNOANGEL & #PLUSISEQUAL BY LANE BRYANT

Let’s face it, Ashley Graham is the TOP CURVY MODEL of our time! She was already in the news with her first lingerie advertisement years ago, which was banned later. And she will always be in the news with any new campaign or collection she is doing, because she works with the right companies who know you need a message to sell your products. Lane Bryant is one of these great companies who had two important campaigns running to increase the media attention for plus size women. With these campaigns all the big magazines wrote about her, even the Vogue Magazine.

TESS HOLLIDAY GETTING SIGNED BY MILK MODEL MANAGEMENT AND APPEARING IN PEOPLE MAGAZINE

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© People Magazine

This news was, for a model like me, just great to read. Tess Holliday is as tall as I am with almost the same size and she still got signed by Milk Model Management Agency. Robyn Lawley is also under this UK agency. So she is in good company! Tess is the plus model with the most likes on all social media pages, because she is not scared to be controversial. She might get bullied a lot, but this is what helped her to succeed!

#BEACHBODYNOTSORRY WITH DENISE BIDOT FOR SWIMSUITSFORALL

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© swimsuitsforall

After the #CURVESINABIKINI campaign with Ashley Graham, Swimsuits For All decided to make another campaign called #BEACHBODYNOTSORRY. They choosed for this curvy model Denise Bidot and showed a promo of her without any editing of the skin. They showed her natural body. We have to accept that every curvy body has flaws like cellulitis. But this doesn’t mean that a model like Denise is less good. She has proved for many years that she is a great model!

“There is no wrong way to be a woman” ~ Denise Bidot

See here our former post about the campaign here. And here is our album on facebook of fans supporting the campaign.

ASHLEY NELL TIPTON WINS PROJECT RUNWAY

© Frazier Harrison / Getty Images

© Ashley Nell Tipton

How cool was it to see plus size models walking at the New York Fashion Week for the Project Runway show. But it got even better, because plus size designer Ashley Nell Tipton even won in the end.

“It’s nice to see how much the mainstream fashion community has been so accepting of it,” ….”It’s very exciting to see that folks finally want to make plus-size mainstream.”~Skorch Magazine and People Magazine

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Ⓒ Ashley Nell Tipton

I was happy to see curve models I know, like Liris Crosse, Danielle van Grondelle, Chloe Marshall and Lornalitz Baez, walking the stage.

See all the pics here.

ADELE COMEBACK AND HER COVER ON THE TIME MAGAZINE

Adele had her comeback finally after all those years of being outside the public. Adele does not only have one of the best voices from the UK, but she is also already a plus size celebrity icon and I was so happy to see that she is back. Her song “HELLO” is still everywhere in the news and I know some of you can’t even hear it anymore. Well, I don’t care. Her album was breaking selling records already in the first week.  She even managed to get her first Time Magazine cover, so her comeback is a huge success after all.

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GREAT THINGS THAT ALREADY HAPPENED IN 2015 BUT THAT WILL ALSO EFFECT 2016:

AMY SCHUMER AND SERENA WILLIAMS FEATURED IN THE PIRELLI CALENDAR

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How cool was the decision of Pirelli to do something new for their calendar 2016. They choosed not to feature models as usuall. This time they choosed to feature the most inspiring women of the world. Women of all ages and races like comedian Amy Schumer, athlete Serena Williams, artist Yoko Ono, model and philanthropist Natalia Vodianova, actress Yao Chen who has over 70 Million followers on her chinese website. They all got photographed by Annie Leibovitz.

I loved the most that they showed the women in a natural and rather simple photographic way to show their natural personality. Especially the picture of Amy Schumer is ground-breacking in the fashion world. For so many years we are used to photoshop all flaws of women. And even women who didn’t like their body wanted to get photoshopped. But Amy Schumer didn’t mind to show her natural stomach. It only shows that it is all natural to have a stomach nowadays. Watch also the Behind the Scene video:

CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN CASTS CURVY MODEL CLEMENTINE DESSEAUX

A natural beauty in #LouboutinCharme. @bonjourclem @lesmijotes 🎥 @mvonthron

A video posted by Christian Louboutin (@louboutinworld) on

Now a lot of great things happened already this year for curvy models, but having a model Clementine Desseaux as the face of the beauty range Rouge Louboutin by Christian Louboutin is almost ground-breacking. Critics said that it doesn’t matter if she became the face of the lipstick promo, because she only has to feature her face not her body. But I have to say that it is a great achievement for a curvy model. Clementine’s unique look with her curves and her freckles symbolizes in a perfect way natural beauty. And even if she doesn’t show her curves in this spot you can still see a face of a size 14 model and not a size 0 model. I think that Christian Louboutin made the most perfect choice to have her as the rolemodel for his beauty brand.

Order your own Rouge here.

BETH DITTO DESIGNS HER FIRST PLUS SIZE CLOTHING LINE WITH JEAN PAUL GAULTIER

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© Beth Ditto / Jean Paul Gaultier

Just before the year 2015 was over the next amazing headline appeared. And I thought it can’t get any better. I am glad that I was wrong. Beth Ditto announced that she will bring out her own first plus size collection in co-operation with Jean Paul Gaultier. Now we already know that Jean Paul loves all women, no matter what size or age they have since even our curvy idol Velvet D’Amour was walking for him years ago.

But making a collection with Beth Ditto clearly is an amazing thing. The design they choosed is a t-shirt collection with the famous corset by Jean Paul Gaultier worn by Madonna – like in this link.

Sure the big t-shirt might not be figure-enhancing, but you can still  ake it more tight in the back. Overall I must say the idea is great, funny and has a great fashion rock style. I would surely want to wear it!

GREAT THINGS HAPPENING IN GERMANY FOR 2016:

SILVANA DENKER’S #BODYLOVE CAMPAIGN CONTINUES AND GOES INTERNATIONAL

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© Silvana Denker

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© Silvana Denker

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© Silvana Denker

We already asked you to support the #BODYLOVE campaign by Silvana Denker. And the reason for this is that she needs to finance her trips all by herself. To make Silvana’s dream come true to go international show your support here.

Her campaign got international attention by the media already. This shows how much people want to see natural women. Therefore I am sure with our support she will change the minds of the people worldwide. And we totally want to see more news of #bodylove like in the collection below.

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© Edit by Silvana Denker

CURVY FASHION FAIR STARS THE YEAR 2016 WITH NEW FEATURES

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©curvyfashionfair

The Curvy Fashion Fair Berlin always takes place during the Fashion Week Berlin. I also attented the fair two years ago, because it offeres you to get to know many plus size brands directly at the event. The Curvy Fashion Fair is an established internation curvy fashion 3-days event, that advaces constantly.

So, if you want to get to know the people behind all the top selling plus size fashion brands, then you need to attend the event also. This year the fair even features 14 new brands and it also has a curvy young designer startup show during the event. To find out more about the event follow this link.

PLUS SIZE FASHION DAYS SHOW AND AWARDS 2016

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Plus Size Fashion Days already had a special award ceremony during the show in 2015. And I think it is a great idea to award the best blogger, the best fashion brand and the best plus size model national and international.

The show developed from a idea by CEO and Founder Tanja Marfo 3 years ago. I attented every show since then. I can tell you it got better every year. Therefore I am excited to see how much better it will become in 2016.

CONCLUSION

All the headlines from last year show that the fashion world finally recognizes plus size women as an important target. We are new hip and trendy, so either you follow us or use us for your promotion or you will be regarded as old-fashioned. And no teen likes old-fashioned stuff. The future for curvy women is bright and I am sure more brands will understand this in the near future!

Have a good time and always remember to love your body and love yourself,

Lyz Lupo