by Elisa Deterville-Martin
Fashion tastemakers and media elite were all in attendance at the Full Figured Fashion Week Press & Buyers Reception on Tuesday afternoon June 18th, an opportunity for individuals to purchase select pieces from designers. When I first arrived I had no idea what to expect. Originally I pictured designers and potential clients sitting around a huge round table with images of fashion pieces discussing quantities and values; an idea I got from watching the fashion documentary The September Issue way too many times. It actually turned out to be something totally different. I quickly realized that it was time to put my networking skills to the test, and personally get to know the designers and what inspired them to go after their dreams.
Walking into the Fitzgerald Ballroom at the Affinia Hotel NYC, I noticed all the designers were stationed around tall bar tables with information about their fashion lines displayed. Most designers had an assistant or a business partner, and stunning models to bring their pieces to life. It was definitely lighthearted and fun as we posed for photos with the models and the designers while laughing over drinks; yet they (models and designers) were still able to remain business minded while attracting buyers and press. When talking to designers such as Serwah Asante (Rue 114) and Lori Ruffin (Sean Anthony Designs), there was definitely a common theme amongst them all- for curvaceous women to love their curves and love the way they looked and felt in their outfit of the day ranging from swimwear to evening wear. Whether one was a newcomer or a seasoned veteran, all the designers loved what they do- make clothing that made women look good and feel beautiful.
Here are some of the featured designers and looks I came across:
EloCin: The brand’s designer mixes sexy and sophistication! Feminine shapes mixed with edgy designs and cuts. Elocin woman are desirable, intelligent, powerful and fashion forward.
ZMJ JEANS: ZMJ Denim caters to the plus sized market. ZMJ is founded by the Jones sisters. Both are graduates of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. This company strives to stay on top of the latest trends, keeping it young and relevant.
TRU DIVA DESIGNS: A plus sized women’s wear collection for the beauty of real curves. Tru Diva Designs is inspired by its creator Veronica L after not finding clothing that she felt sexy and sophisticated in which appreciated her curves. Tru Diva Designs is the epitome of sophistication, style and confidence.
Sean Anthony Designs: Founder and CEO of Sean Anthony Designs Lori Ruffin began her quest in 2009 with a clothing line coats for the “average sized woman.” Which she thought was roughly a size 10, until her mother enlightened her. With that, she began to design a line that focused on accentuating a fuller figured woman.
Huudaverti: A collaboration by Australian designers, the brand is now based in NYC. Huudaverti first made its appearance at the 2012 Fiji Fashion Week. With design inspiration blossoming from the 1970’s, these designers are ready to bring their overseas fashion to the United States.
Swim Sexy: For over a decade, Swimsuits For All has been one of the nation’s leading retailers of swimsuits on the east coast. For the last eight years Swim Sexy has reached an audience of over half a million, catering to curvaceous women with the sexy design and perfect fit.
Curvy Couture: The owner of this lingerie line has been a seamstress/lingerie designer for 20 years. She wanted to acknowledge full figured women, and how they to want to feel sexy behind closed doors.
Rue 114: After attending Dartmouth and majoring in Pre-Med, these ladies knew their true calling was designing. These two are definitely an eclectic bunch pulling inspiration from everything and everywhere.
Amiiee: Luxurious fashion for the average woman, Amiiee, an exclusive luxury designer brand, provides pieces for plus sized woman both nationally and internationally. Descending from a family of traditionally European designers, Amiiee is now primarily based in NYC.
Skinny Billionairess: Originally spawning as an accessories line, Pamela Wood’s designs give her clients everything from erotic to vintage. She shifts the paradigm from high end fabrics, to evocative cuts all done by hand. Her designs are now featured in fashion magazines.
OnOz: A new comer on the scene. This Paris, France based designer has definitely accomplished a lot within the one year she has launched. Almost all of her designs are inspired by a landmark in France.