The First Full-Figured Fashion Week Comes to a Close

For the past week New York City has been host to Full-Figured Fashion Week (FFW), a new fashion show aimed at what its participants and organizers feel is a disenchanted and disenfranchised section of the fashion world that is steadily growing. The Saturday night finale brought together over a thousand potential buyers who were treated to plus sized visions by a host of designers, from the usual suspects like Fashion Bug and Lane Bryant to dozens of small mom and pop operations that started up specifically to fill this long ignored niche in the industry.

While many mainstream designers firmly believe that there is no niche to fill because full-figured and fashion are mutually exclusive, Gwen DeVoe, the executive producer of FFW offers another theory. “They say we don’t spend money on clothes? That’s bananas,” DeVoe was quoted as saying in an interview with CNN “We don’t buy [their] magazines because we don’t see ourselves in them. We don’t go to their shows because we aren’t invited.” DeVoe admits that her own frustration with this lack of attention and misinterpretation of what voluptuous women are looking for in fashion is what drove her to help create FFW. While designers like Jean Paul Gautier have said that runways are a place where one tries to create a fantasy and “nobody fantasizes about being fat” DeVoe says that all she and many women like her want is to look good in the clothes they wear.

According the the Center for Disease Control the average American woman is 5 feet 3 1/2 inches in height and weights 164.7 pounds which would place her at either a size 14 or size 16 depending on the designer, yet many mainstream designers and even some department stores consider 14 a plus size. So while it may not attract the elite of the Paris, Milan and Tokyo fashion circles Full-Figured Fashion Week clearly has plenty of consumers who will be interested.

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