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CeCe Olisa and Chastity Garner Valentine, co-founders of theCURVYcon; Image: Bennett Raglin

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It’s been a banderole year so far for the plus-size industry: Archetypal Ashley Graham was the aboriginal plus-size woman to arise on the awning of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, Glamour annual appear its first-ever plus-size affair and IMG launched a plus-size macho archetypal division, to name aloof a few developments. Despite these high-profile headlines, our contempo assortment letters appearance that plus-size women are still grossly underrepresented in appearance ad campaigns and on the runways. A actuality that seems rather astigmatic back you accede that U.S. plus-size accoutrement sales added by a whopping 17 percent amid 2013 and 2016 — that’s a $20.4 billion jump.

Bloggers CeCe Olisa and Chastity Garner Valentine are on a mission to accompany added afterimage to the plus-size bazaar with theCURVYcon, the nation’s abandoned assemblage committed to plus-size fashion. Now in its additional year, theCURVYcon brings plus-size brands, fashionistas, bloggers and YouTubers calm to embrace their curves, boutique the latest styles and accouterment capacity alignment from confidence, bloom and fettle to fashion, style, dating and anatomy positivity. We sat bottomward with CeCe and Chastity advanced of the appointment (June 17-18 in New York City) to get their thoughts on the accepted accompaniment of the plus-size appearance industry.

theFashionSpot: What are your thoughts on the appellation “plus-size”?

CeCe Olisa: I spent my boyhood years actuality abashed of that appellation plus-size, now I embrace it fully. It makes arcade easier and it helps our association acquisition anniversary other. I’m in no blitz to stop application it.

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Chastity Garner Valentine: For me it’s a advantageous appellation to adviser my readers to the appearance that they are attractive for. It’s a accepted appellation in chase engines. I anticipate the appellation gets a bad rap because of absorbed animosity to a appellation to call a set of sizing. For me, I attach action to the word. Plus-size, aloof like petites or juniors, is acclimated to advice the client acquisition what they are attractive for. Imagine accepting to google a dress in plus-sizes after the terms. Finding that apparel would be like analytic for a aggravate in a haystack. In theory, yes, it would be abundant to get rid of agreement and labels that abstracted fashion, but until all appearance is fabricated in all sizes for all heights, again that aloof isn’t realistic.

Model Ashley Graham at theCURVYcon; Image: Bennett Raglin

tFS: What are your thoughts on the accompaniment of the plus-size appearance industry?

CeCe: I’m cat-and-mouse for the day back women are no best afar from the appearance industry because of their size. Appearance has annihilation to do with size, but sadly, plus-size women aren’t able to absolutely accurate their appearance the way they appetite to because the appearance industry doesn’t absolutely embrace plus-size women. I can’t delay for a about-face in that thinking.

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Chastity: I started in the industry about 2005 back there were so few options for a plus-size woman, let abandoned a plus-size woman beneath the age of 50. So abounding added options acquire appear forth and I adulation the growth. I still see a lot of abrogating acknowledgment about the additional options and I do agree, but there are a lot of acceptable options. There is additionally still a lot of allowance for growth.

tFS: How assorted would you accede the appearance industry to be? Do you feel the industry is acceptable added or beneath anatomy positive?

Chastity: I acquire a lot of centralized battle back it comes to this. I feel like boilerplate appearance is acceptable added across-the-board of plus-size appearance and plus-size people, but abandoned a assertive blazon of plus-size girl. She’s hourglass, tall, a admeasurement 14 and, best times, white. A lot of the advance and absorption in the plus-size industry has appear from the basal up and from women of color, but already plus-size became boilerplate the beneath assorted the industry has become. The plus-size appearance industry feels, as it relates to fashion, like it’s a altered ancillary of the aforementioned appearance coin, area abandoned a few bodies who attending the aforementioned are accustomed in the door.

I feel like I can’t accord my abounding appraisal of the anatomy positivity abstraction until the chat is no best a buzzword. For me, are we anatomy absolute because it’s contemporary or are we positive because it’s the appropriate way to be. That has yet to be seen.

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CeCe: I see the industry authoritative an accomplishment against diversity, but there is so abundant allowance for advance and inclusion. It is so able to see women who attending like you reflected in boilerplate media and we charge added of that. Of course, I’m able to acquire a job as a YouTuber/blogger because I ample that void, so acutely we’re not captivation our breath. The Internet gives us the ability to actualize the assortment we appetite to see. That’s why Chastity and I do what we do. That’s why we created theCURVYcon.

TheCURVYcon; Image: Bennett Raglin

tFS: Who do you feel is arch the way in agreement of anatomy acceptance?

CeCe: Amber Riley, Ashley Nell Tipton, Iskra Lawrence all affect me on a circadian basis. I adulation that Eloquii uses models of all sizes.

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Chastity: I adulation what Jes Baker, Gabi Gregg, Nicolette Mason and Susan Moses are doing. Through fashion, they are allowance women acquire themselves.

tFS: What affectionate of misconceptions do you feel bodies aural the industry acquire about plus-size women?

CeCe: They anticipate we don’t appetite to absorb money on clothes! They anticipate we’re cat-and-mouse until we lose weight to get into fashion. Both of these things aren’t true.

Chastity: That our bodies anticipate us from actuality stylish. I’ve apparent abounding fashionable plus-size women. It’s aloof that we didn’t acquire the options before.

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tFS: What’s your ideal aisle for the plus-size movement?

CeCe: I appetite plus-size women to feel admired and admirable of admirable things.

Chastity: I appetite bodies to alive their lives to the fullest and to not anticipate of their bodies as a hindrance, but as an asset.

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