Last week after a full day's work, I rushed out of the office, hopped on the A train (and then the D train) and hurried to the Lord & Taylor flagship store in Manhattan with the hopes of getting there as close to 6:00 pm as possible. All of this haste was for one reason: I wanted to meet Nadia Aboulhosn during her in-store appearance. Nadia is a "plus-size" model, blogger, and fashion model on the rise. Her capsule collection, Nadia Aboulhosn for Addition Elle, is now available at Lord & Taylor. Long story short, I made it to the event in time to stand in line, head nod the DJ, have a glass of bubbly, and take a picture with the beautiful Nadia. She was really sweet, and though she says that she was nervous, our 30 second mini-convo was great. It was good to see a woman of color (she's of Lebanese decent) doing her thing, and carving out a new path. I can't wait to see more from Nadia in the near future!
I LOVE PLUS MODELS!
I follow them on the 'gram, I support their product lines, I read their blogs. Plus models have been intriguing me for years, way back to when 1990's plus-size supermodel Emme was crusading for body acceptance. Now, there are plus size models like Nadia Aboulhosn, Liris Crosse, Christina Mendez, Tess Holiday, and many others who dare to step away from fashion's status quo to represent the majority of American women, as the average dress size is 12-14.
In recent years, plus size fashion bloggers have amped up their influence in the fashion marketplace. In 2014, blogger Chastity Garner-Valentine of GarnerStyle caused a commotion when, in response to the lack of plus size options for the Altuzarra for Target collection, her #boycottingTarget campaign was one of the movements that caused Target take notice of the demand for plus fashion options. The Curvy Fashionista, Marie Denee has been an informative voice in the plus fashion movement for several years. Other fashionistas like Kelly Augustine (www.KellyAugustine.com), Gabi of www.Gabifresh.com, Chante' B (www.everythingcurvyandchic.com), Kellie Brown (www.andIgetdressed.com), and Shainna Tucker (www.athickgirlscloset.com) are some of my favorites, some of whom I've actually met. These ladies put us on to the new-new in plus fashion, alerting us of clothing lines, new products, and designers who are plus-friendly.
On a personal note, I love plus models and bloggers because it is now that I can finally make confident choices in my wardrobe selections. It is because of their loud and proud insistence that #plusisequal, that I no longer have to opt for box-like, unflattering outfits that age me by 30 years, feeling unattractive and matronly. The days of crying in dressing rooms out of frustration and shame due to the of the lack of fashionable clothing are in the past. By confronting us with their undeniable beauty and style, we have been forced to take note and adjust accordingly. These ladies made it okay to wear a "fatkini" (as I did on my honeymoon), or rock a body-con dress with the same carefree spirit as those half my size.