Nevermind New York Fashion Week, there’s a new major event taking over the city.
The Curvy Con is a three-day event that brings plus-size brands, fashionistas, shopaholics, bloggers and YouTubers into one space, to chat, shop, and embrace all things curvy. This year’s event was held in New York City from Septemeber 6th through the 8th. And like every other show during fashion week, the styles spotted were innovative, DIY, and fashion forward.
Throwback styles were in abundance this year’s event by attendees, speakers, and runway models from both Loft and Dia&Co’s showcase. Some common themes were a resurgence of plaid reminiscent of Clueless, faux fur and leather, animal print, jumpsuits and matching sets, and statement tees.
Dia&Co announced their #TeeUpChange campaign in partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers of America, which focuses on celebrating the plus-size community as well as donating profits from the five T-shirts that are a part of the campaign to help fund inclusive design education in the CFDA’s Educational Initiatives schools. The shirts, designed by Lizzo, Venus Williams, Christian Siriano, Marissa Petteruti, and Tracy Reese, each feature a powerful message from the contributors.
Tracy Reese, Lizzo, and The Curvy Con’s founders, CeCe Olisa and Chastity Garner, also discussed the intersection between race and the body when it comes to fashion. Lizzo described the current state of fashion as peak Black, stating, “Black people push fashion, we push fashion and we push style. We don’t push the fashion industry, the industry is run by white men but Black people influence that culture.”
Designer and CFDA board member Tracy Reese discussed the inherent confidence that comes with being Black and plus-size because of the need to have our own back. “Black women have always been more proud of being full-figured because we have to be proud, we have to support ourselves. The world isn’t telling us we’re beautiful, the world isn’t telling us we’re strong, but we’re strong enough to tell that to ourselves.”
Reese also described how plus-size women are breaking the stereotype of not participating in fashion and how that has manifested at The Curvy Con. “With the imagery that we’re seeing now, and the love for self I think it’s easier for people to invest in themselves. That was the old rule — that plus-sized women wouldn’t invest in fashion; that she would only buy inexpensive things because she felt like it was a temporary state. But it’s like ‘here I am living right now, I’ve got to invest in me today, and I’ve got to love myself.”
The event was a pure magic and underscored the importance of creating spaces that are truly inclusive.