Photo: Courtesy of Target
The much-buzzed about Target plus-size line Ava & Viv won’t be available in stores until February, but at last night’s launch party, we got an up-close-and-personal look at some of the label’s pieces, modeled on mannequins and real girls alike. Among the groups of stylishly dressed women there to check out the clothes, were three bloggers chosen to be the face of the collection: Chastity Garner, Gabi Gregg and Nicolette Mason. Fully outfitted in Ava & Viv looks, the women chatted up a storm and gamely posed for selfies. Yahoo Style spoke to them about their thoughts on the hotly anticipated collection and more.
YAHOO STYLE: Target has not had the best track record when it comes to the plus-size market, what was your initial reaction when you were contacted?
Chastity Garner: After I started the #BoycottTarget hashtag, they contacted me right away— within a couple of days. It was such a quick response and it caught me off guard because I thought “I’m just a small blogger, this won’t matter.” They really wanted to know why I felt like the plus-size community was getting slighted. Then they said they had some projects in the work and that they would like to work with me and to just keep an open mind.
Nicolette Mason: It’s really funny because Gabi and I have always joked that one of our dream clients is Target, and we had heard that they had something in the pipeline so we emailed our manager like “hey, we heard something’s happening with Target!”
Gabi Gregg: Target has been such a big part of my life and the fact that they listened to what the customers were saying, and came back with a dedicated in-house line for us, is just really special.
YS: How has the process working with them been?
NM: The team has been phenomenal to work with. We came in after the first collection had been finished, and they wanted a lot of feedback, things to improve the collection over the next seasons. It’s really important for the industry as a whole, that they are building a cohesive collection, that they’re thinking about how to mix and match things, how you can wear pieces from day to night— especially when so many collections in the plus-size market are just randomly pieced together.
Some of Nicolette, Gabi, and Chastity’s favorite pieces from the Ava & Viv collection. Photos: Courtesy of Target.
YS: Did you ever expect that you would actually be able to change the industry in such a positive way?
GG: I started blogging as a hobby and there were no other plus size bloggers at the time, especially in America that were doing personal style, mixed with body politics and body positivity. I just wanted to focus on fashion, help other girls to dress well and tell them all the cute places to shop because back then there weren’t many places. It’s really amazing how much the plus size bloggers have grown in the last six to seven years.
NM: It’s been a very surreal experience although I try not to think about it like “we are making a difference,” because sometimes it feels like it puts a lot of pressure on us, as bloggers. But when I get emails from women saying “you’ve helped me so much,” that’s really touching and heartwarming, and I cry. I cry a lot. All the time!
YS: So now that there’s so many more amazing options for plus-size women, what are some styles that you want to experiment with this year?
CG: You know what I’m looking for? A little cape blazer. I’ve worn cape dresses before but now I want a little suit with a cape blazer. I am on the hunt for it!
NM: I just started wearing jeans! I’ve worn a skinny jean and a boyfriend jean, and these are all new things to me. I am so girly you know, but I am trying to do more casual, something a bit more minimal, even though I am not a minimalist at all! I’m really trying to get out of my shell a little.
GG: For the first time, I am wanting to wear maxi dresses. I always hated them and thought of them as “prairie girl,” which I am definitely NOT, but now I am going on vacation to Mexico and Jamaica and that’s all I want to wear! You know it’s also such an LA-girl thing, and when I moved here I said “I never want to become the flowy dress girl!” and here I am. Never say never.