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Celebrating plus-size women


Zoe Ellis

Founder and Director of The Curve Fashion Festival

Founder and Director of The Curve Fashion Festival, Zoe Ellis, talks about the challenges faced by plus sized ladies, and why we should celebrate our curves.

When did you recognise the need for events like The Curve Fashion Festival?

While working as a plus size stylist, I realised plus size women couldn’t walk into any city centre or shopping centre and have dozens of shops to cater for them like a smaller size woman can. I decided to create The Curve Fashion Festival (TCFF) to bring retailers and customers together and allow them to shop directly.

How do you think they help people to feel more confident?

TCFF is a safe space for people. When women come here they know that the retailers will have their sizes; that the models on the catwalk represent them and then panel discussions are targeted to them directly. It’s a full day that is created to inspire and give confidence to everyone who walks through the doors and to be part of what is an incredible community.

What do you think the fashion industry needs to do to improve their inclusivity of all body types?

There is still a long way to go, however inclusivity has grown so much in just the past three years and I think the power of social and mainstream media will continue to enhance that. It isn’t a difficult task for the fashion industry; make collections that are not restricted with sizes, include plus size women on catwalks and in campaigns and acknowledge that the industry’s interpretation of a plus size model is often not the same as a plus size woman.

What advice would you give to people looking to make
a difference like you have?

To even want to make a difference is already a big step. Find your message and surround yourself with like-minded people. Work together to create something that is special to your audience; understand them and constantly work at it.

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