America has such a love-hate relationship with Black women, especially those of us with larger curves. One minute mocking, next minute on the surgery table imitating. One season it's trendy to be runway thin, the next minute being voluptuous is considered desirable. But here is the thing, being a curvy black woman is not a trend, it is a reality that so many of us live in a world where we are told we are beautiful and sexy despite of our weight, instead of because of it. CurvyNoire created an intersection where high fashion and plus-sized Black women could meet, set the runway on fire, all while having important conversations.
The event that took place during New York Fashion Week. And from start to finish, it was exemplary of the class, poise, and the divinity that plus-sized women ooze so effortlessly. Helmed by powerhouse blogger, entrepreneur, mother, and cancer warrior Maui Bigelow in partnership with MadameNoire, the collaboration blossomed to give the Big Apple something to talk about...or to be speechless about.
Highly sought after plus-size brands and designers like Rebdolls, Kenya Mollie, and Livirae Lingerie adorned the flawless forms of plus-size models and influencers such as Nzinga Imani and MsKristine, with industry veterans like Essie Golden nodding in agreeance that these women were killing it. Based off of Maui's vision of the event, the second the first model came strutting her stuff, the event was a success. The writer shares with xoNecole:
"It is important to me that we show the world that we are out here styling a profiling, and we deserve the same press, the same recognition, and the same love that everyone else is getting. We want everybody to take notice, we want everybody to celebrate women of color in fashion… It is time."
The respect that plus-size fashion and models deserve is long overdue which explains why the event was filled to capacity with a high vibration of love, acceptance, positivity, and creativeness, and celebration of the present moment. Patrons felt seen for who they are and were given an opportunity to take up space for once, instead of trying to fit into the confinement of straight sizes and small minds. Given Maui's track record for selling out these type of events, as she does with her lifestyle honors, her ability and desire to connect with as many people as she can on a meaningful level is what gave this event its magic touch:
"I think that I am my magic formula. A lot of times, people have these types of events, they outsource all of the work. They are not personal with their audience. They are not personal with their influencers. They are not personal with the brands, and it is time for that. A lot of times you have to take back your power and be more responsible for what you want from these events. The most important thing to me is to build strong relationships within our communities."
Each model looked distinctly different, which is so refreshing given the mainstream hour-glass standard of plus-sized beauty presented in magazines, and this was completely intentional. "Not everybody will be on the larger end of plus, and not everyone will be on the smaller end," Maui reveals. "We have models coming from all over the world. And that's exciting for me because only a select few models get that level of praise."
The discussion panel was as stimulating mentally as the models were visually due to an array of important issues within the plus-size community being raised and discussed. Black women are discriminated against in the healthcare field, even more so when considered overweight and obese. Major retailers are now extending their sizes in order to take advantage of the buying power of the plus-size community however we are mostly restricted to online shopping. Though events such as this one, alongside CurvyCon, celebrate how far plus-size fashion has come, they also tend to highlight how much further it has to go. For the time being, let's continue to promote body positivity, celebrate each other's uniqueness, and pop out!
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Featured image by MadameNoire/CurvyNoire