Curvy Closet: Exclusive Interview with Gwen DeVoe, Founder of Full Figured Fashion Week

 

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New York, get ready. DeVoe Signature Events showcases plus size fashion and the community for its 5th annual Full Figured Fashion Week. Yes, Full Figured Fashion Week. Next week from June 17-22, New York serves as a haven for the plus size fashion lovers in a sold-out week full of fashion shows, a boat cruise, panels, shopping events and an awards ceremony (akin to the Oscars) celebrating those who have made strides within the community.

So to help you understand and learn more about this week, I had the pleasure to chat with the founder of FFFWeek®, Gwen DeVoe. DeVoe, affectionately known as “auntie” throughout the community, has taken this idea of hers and has grown it to an international event bringing in designers, bloggers, and lovers of fashion and beauty from Australia, France, Canada, and everywhere in between!

Please read on to learn a bit more about this week’s event and the impetus for such a monumental event.

Why Full Figured Fashion Week? What was your impetus for creating this?

Full FIgured Fashoin Week Founder- Gwen DeVoeI have a reputation for pushing the envelope.  Five years ago, I felt strongly that it was time for our industry to have a professional fashion event that celebrated (and even introduced to some) the works of the plus fashion industry, comparable to New York City’s Fashion Week events.  Additionally, I knew that there was a lot of talent in this industry that was uncovered and resources that were untapped.  I also felt that it was time for the plus fashion industry to come out of the shadows and take its rightful place as a billion dollar revenue generating industry.

What are you most excited for next week?

I am most excited and proud to be producing Curves for A Cure, our celebrity runway fashion show and silent auction to benefit breast cancer research. Curvy celebrities from all walks of life have stepped in and donated their presence to help us raise money to eradicate this disease.

What takeaways do you want those who attend to leave with about FFFWeek®?

Those that attend FFFWeek® come for many different reasons but I think that at the end of the event, most feel a sense of validation of the industry.  The plus fashion industry is a huge market and up until recently, we were disregarded.  I am proud to say that FFFWeek® has played a huge part in the shedding a spotlight on the industry.

Full Figured Fashion Week® is in its 5th year, Congrats! As you ready for its start, is this you had envisioned it to be?

I’m ready and it is definitely what I envisioned it to be.  I just didn’t realize that the event would grow so quickly.  My only wish is that we could accommodate all of the people that want to be involved every year.  Hopefully, that won’t be a problem in upcoming years.

For those who aspire to work in plus size fashion, what words of advice can you leave?

There are many opportunities to work in plus size fashion.  There is no difference in the way you prepare yourself for this industry or other industries.

1. Do your research on the industry and the area in which you want to work.  Find out what is required and obtain experience in those areas before you label yourself an expert.

2. Know who the key players are.  It may take some time for you to meet them, but at least know who they are when you meet them.

3. Exercise your “unique” voice but respect the opinions of opposing views, especially in public forums

4. It’s ok to be multi-talented but often a Model/Make-up Artist/Blogger/Stylist/Designer confuses people.  Work on one or two “passions” at a time.

5. Network to increase your net worth

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As I shared above, Full Figured Fashion Week is already sold out! There are a few opportunities for standing room only and waiting lists, but to learn more about the weeks’ events, please visit www.fffweek.com!

Do you already have your tickets? Will I see you there? 

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