When it comes to plus size fashion, it seems like there is a propensity to highlight women sizes 12-20. But, what about women who are size 22 and above? How should they dress to flatter their physique? The influential Marcy Cruz, Blog Editor of Plus Model Magazine, collaborated with other bloggers to showcase to the world, in their recent lookbook, great fashion is readily available for women of ALL sizes!
To learn more about this great collaboration, check out my Q&A with Marcy Cruz.
Natasha: How did this look book collaboration come about?
Marcy: It has been a dream of mine to do a lookbook such as this one. I believe strongly in creating your own opportunities versus waiting on someone else to hand you one. With size 24+ women not given much visibility in the media and in campaigns, this look book was a way to showcase bloggers a size 22+ with different shapes, sizes and styles in one place, accompanied by their quotes on confidence, shopping, fit and visibility. It was more about introducing them to the masses and giving them a platform to be seen and heard. I know when I first started blogging and seeking out other plus fashion bloggers to follow, it was rare to find one that was my size or looked like me. Now we have more diversity in the blogger community. It’s just a matter of showing them more. I grew tired of seeing the same bloggers being used over and over again in campaigns and on “Best of” lists, most that don’t look like me or have a similar style.
Natasha: What has been the response so far?
Marcy: It has been wonderful but promoting it has been a lot of work. We’ve basically been promoting it ourselves on our blogs and social media channels. As of yet, we have not gotten much media coverage besides PLUS Model Magazine, About That Curvy Life, and Estrella Fashion Report. I also just did an interview for The Curvy Fashionista. So we’re getting there, slowly.
Honestly, we have hung in there because it’s important to get the word out. Also, how can we expect brands to support us unless we support ourselves? Case in point, I have yet to see a fashion campaign featuring all women above a size 22 go viral. Brands like Eloquii, Society+ and Torrid try but I feel like they could have gotten more exposure and support from US. We have to stop complaining and start supporting.
On the positive side, the lookbook garnered about 4,000 unique views in one week and that’s awesome considering no major media coverage. We’re going to continue to promote it into 2017 because it is timeless and important for the masses to see.
Natasha: What should the public take from the lookbook?
Marcy: There’s so many powerful messages we are pushing with this lookbook. We’re showing body positivity in another manner, through style. We are not only talking to our belief that fashion is for everyone but we are proving that style doesn’t stop at a size 22.
We are showing body and size diversity as well as lending our voices to inspire everyone to believe in their beauty. For them to know that there is no wrong way to have style. Everyone is worthy and deserving of fashion, no matter what your size. It may be harder for some to shop because many stores don’t offer above a certain size but I have seen plus size women learn to sew and create their own clothing. I have seen the emergence of plus size fashion indie designers who are open to creating clothing for women about a size 24. I have seen brands such as Lane Bryant showing more diversity and every day women on their social media channels.
We’re all having a “make it work” moment because we are resilient and not going anywhere. At the same time, this look book is a sort of call to action to brands and retailers that we should be seen too. Not every plus size woman is a size 18 or has an hourglass shape. Not all of us are 5’7″. We all carry our weight in different places. However, we are all thriving and worthy of accessible fashion.
Natasha: Please share more about the bloggers involved in the lookbook!
Marcy: They are so diverse from their location to their style to even when they started blogging. We have what I like to call our “veteran” bloggers such as Emily of Authentically Emmie, Rebecca of The Plus Side of Me and Amanda Allison of Fashion, Love & Martinis. Then we have the newbies on the scene like Shakera of The Real Sample Size, Ashley of My Simple Curvy Life and Meshel of The Muffin Queen’s Closet. I also love that we have Corissa of Fat Girl Flow and Meagan of This is Meagan Kerr in the lookbook, who have both been outspoken leaders in the body positive community. And Lisa of MustangSallyTwo is a new size 26/28 blogger out of Canada who has really grown in popularity in the last year with her glam and glitzy style. Amanda Williams from Bella Moxie offers a casual but polished style that’s very relatable to women. And we have Amanda Koker, who is not only a blogger, but a plus size designer too. I love how all of their voices blend so well together to offer differing aspects of the plus fashion world yet offering the same message that style is beyond size.
Natasha: Will there other lookbooks in the future?
Marcy: Yes! I’m actually working on the next one, which will launch sometime in the next few months. I plan to pick some new bloggers to feature with some returning ladies. We also have an Instagram page (@StyleBeyond22) to support the lookbook and women above a size 22. If they tag their pictures with the hashtag #StyleBeyond22, they may be featured.
These bloggers are living examples that we should be the change we want to see in this world!