Founder of The Curvy Fashionista, Marie Denee talks plus size fashion, industry expectations and what it means for her blog to be turning five this year.
Five years ago Marie Denee began The Curvy Fashionista blog – a space where real women could share fashion ideas and inspiration. Marie started with the goal of helping curvy women find contemporary and fashionable clothes by sharing resources and has since developed her website into a lifestyle and fashion forum plus much more.
Marie is not only recognized for her sassy style – she has amassed a loyal following on Twitter of more than 20,000 people and is being recognized as one of the most influential fashion bloggers by numerous publications, she has even featured on prime time television shows such as Ricki Lake promoting plus size fashion.
But most of all, Marie is an inspiration to young women, proving that you don’t have to be stick thin to rock an outfit, to turn heads for all the right reasons and to feel fantastic in your own skin. And for that, I applaud her. I was fortunate enough to be able to speak to Marie about her blog, the fashion world and her style tips for this season. Enjoy the interview!
The Ambitionist: First of all I would love to find out a little bit more about you! Have you always worked in the fashion industry?
Marie: I have always worked in retail and fashion in one way or another. Since I was 15 and could work, I’ve been working in fashion.
The Ambitionist: What was your inspiration behind The Curvy Fashionista blog?
Marie: Initially I wanted to create a space to promote and provide other women with the resources I knew and loved – especially those with a contemporary style. From there it has evolved into a lifestyle and fashion blog/site sharing these resources and much more. I wanted to show plus size women that there are resources out there for us and importantly, where to find them!
The Ambitionist: What do you enjoy most about writing your blog?
Marie: I love feeling and being of service. Being able to help even one person find what they are looking for and helping them see that beauty does INDEED come in various sizes is what drives me! Helping ONE woman see herself as amazing, this is my ultimate goal.
The Ambitionist: What are your thoughts on the recent Elle cover, which featured Melissa McCarthy from Bridesmaids? There was a lot of controversy about her ‘cover-up’ outfit.
Marie: I do not see the controversy… I thought the cover was nicely done and the outfit was something I could also picture a ‘straight size’ woman rocking. I think that because we do not see Melissa always so ‘done up’, it caught a lot of people off guard. I think if we see more plus size women on the covers of large fashion magazines we will be more receptive to the varying ideals of fashion.
The Ambitionist: How do you think the fashion industry should be promoting plus size, curvy models?
Marie: I think plus size fashion should be integrated and showcased within fashion magazines. More inclusion and less segregation is key – especially in campaigns and beauty editorials.
The Ambitionist: Do you agree with airbrushing and other techniques used by photographers and large fashion houses?
Marie: Everyone uses these techniques, but I don’t think that it should completely distort the person in the images. Makeup does wonders and I think with the perfect lighting and a great makeup artist, there is no need to completely reconstruct someone’s look.
The Ambitionist: What changes would you like to see in the fashion industry to show that curvy women can be just as beautiful and stylish as smaller women?
Marie: I would love to see more beauty, accessory, and fashion campaigns that include plus size models. Not a token plus size model, but a complete integration. In addition, I think that we need to see more variation of plus size models – fashion magazines, retailers and photographers should be showcasing women of all shapes and sizes. And please, give me a model that is more than a size 8!
The Ambitionist: What are your favourite fashion brands / retailers at the moment?
Marie: I have more than a few! I love ASOS Curve, CarmaKoma, Simply Be, 17 Sundays, Harlow, and Monif C, and I seriously could go on! There are a lot of fabulous brands out there for plus size women these days.
The Ambitionist: What is the trend you are most excited about this season?
Marie: Leather! Oh I love every aspect of it! In skirts, jackets, dresses, tops, and mixed into outerwear! There are so many ways to rock it and I love it – I’m here for it all and ready to experiment.
The Ambitionist: Where do you get your fashion inspiration?
Marie: Hmm… you know it comes from a variety of places. From my #TCFStyle readers, fellow bloggers, and various designers and celebrities.
The Ambitionist: What message do you want to promote to curvy women who love fashion, but who lack confidence?
Marie: Confidence takes practice and we will have our up and down days. It is important to know that you are just as important and valuable as the next woman – and JUST as beautiful!
The Ambitionist: What next for The Curvy Fashionista?
Marie: I am celebrating my blog turning FIVE! December marks this milestone and I will celebrate by having a month full of fabulous giveaways and conclude with a party!
Marie Denee talks about the Curvy Fashionista turning five in this video:
To hear more of what Marie has to say, to get some of her fashion tips and to sign up for regular updates from The Curvy Fashionista visit her blog: thecurvyfashionista.com