It must have seemed like an impossible challenge: to create a bona fide alternative to the mainstream industry's straight-size-only fashion weeks--those exclusionary, curve-o-phobic events where no one in a double digit dress size is ever permitted to appear.
Impossible, that is, to anyone else, but not to Gwen DeVoe. Where others merely dreamed, she created reality. Her first Full-Figured Fashion Week looked polished and professional, and featured some of the most gorgeous models in the industry. Moreover, unlike other so-called plus-size fashion shows, with their faux-plus size 10s and 12s, Full-Figured Fashion Week featured genuinely full-figured goddesses, size 14 and up.
In 2010, the second incarnation of FFFWeek tripled in size and prestige, yet maintained its pro-curvy philosophy.
In the following interview with the Judgment of Paris, Ms. DeVoe discusses the genesis of Full-Figured Fashion Week, as well as the philosophy behind it. She strongly advocates the idea--an idea with which we concur--that the plus-size industry should concentrate on create its own, distinct, plus-specific events rather than merely attempting to conform itself to straight-size-industry standards.
Gwen also reveals many fascinating insights about her own background. Readers are sure to empathize with her reminiscences about being a struggling young model in New York, carting suitcases on the subway from shoot to shoot. They will also surely be moved by her reflections on how proud her mother would have been of what she has accomplished.
This is an intriguing tale about the origins of an important cultural event, but it is also an inspiring object lesson about the possibility of realizing one's dreams in the face of opposition and adversity, so long as one has the requisite talent and will.
Crusaders and entrepreneurs alike, take note.* * *
Plus-size model aficionados will also appreciate the many illustrations that accompany the interview. In addition to two new, never-before-posted images of luscious Katherine Roll from FFFWeek 2009, the interview also features eight new full-size photos of dazzling Kailee O'Sullivan from this event. (Lindsey Garbelman's photos from FFFWeek 2010 have appeared on the forum before.) Each model is represented by nine of her best runway images. Be sure to click on each thumbnail to view the image at a larger size. The photographs come courtesy of Richard Lew, the official photographer of FFFWeek 2009 and 2010.* * *
And now, without further ado, please allow us to introduce the woman behind the world's one and only...Full-Figured Fashion Week.
- An Interview with Gwen DeVoe