Model Revée Lamar. Photo: Courtesy
Full Figured Fashion Week, or FFFW, is in full swing right now in New York City, with events running through this weekend, from town halls and panels to cocktail parties and fashion shows. Started in 2009 by Gwen DeVoe after realizing the lovely looks parading down the runways at NYFW would never be in her size, FFFW has grown into a six day, 15-event affair with over 30 sponsors. Which means it’s no passing fancy or a fad. The plus size consumer is a major part of the retail market, generating $17.5 billion in sales from 2013 to 2014.
This year, the face of FFFW is model Revée Lamar. She scored the gig via an open call, and while known in the plus-size modeling circles (she’s a Curve Nation model), FFFW has opened more doors for her. She demurred from naming specific jobs she’s landed, but did say she has more fashion gigs lined up.
We caught up with Revée before the White Party (on a boat! NYFW organizers, pay attention! Boats are fun!), to talk about the state of plus-size fashion, styling tips, and of course, boobs.
Yahoo Style: You’re the face of Full Figure Fashion Week, congratulations. How did that come about?
Revée Lamar: I submitted my video to the contest website, and it took like three weeks and you were judged, and you got the news if you won, and it was amazing. Beyond amazing.
YS: You were already pretty well known in the plus size world, but is this opening up even more doors for you?
RL: This experience is opening more doors for me, my face is getting out there more, and everyone is starting to notice who Revée is, and it’s a great opportunity.
YS: There’s a little controversy about using the term plus-size. How do you feel about it?
RL: I’m a woman, so whether I’m a plus-size woman, a full figured woman, however you want to describe me, it doesn’t bother me. Because I already know that first I am a woman first. So whether you want to call me plus-size, full size, I’m ok with that.
YS: Right now it seems like we’re having a turning point in the fashion industry with plus-size. The Lane Bryant campaign was amazing, and more brands are casting fuller figured models. Do you feel we’re hitting a point where things are getting better?
RL: I do. I feel that the industry is noticing that plus-size women are ones to be reckoned with now. We are spending more money; they’re starting to see the revenue that’s coming and they’re saying, “hold on, we need to hit that target market!” I think that’s what they’re starting to notice that we don’t want to shop in one little corner with a floral dress. We want fashion. Whether you’re size 2 or 22, you can wear what you want to wear.
YS: What do you think the fashion industry can do to push things even further?
RL: Just have women start to embrace themselves. Have women start to want to dress up, want to wear different things. I think a lot of it comes from the media, where they think they have to be a certain size or they think they have to look a certain way. You don’t. You need to feel comfortable within your skin.
YS: What kind of style tips would you give to someone like me who has big boobs?
RL: The bra that I have on, I have to shop at Lane Bryant because I’m a G, sometimes H. Make sure your bra fits you and once you, for some reason, they tell you that you’re supposed to put your bra on the front way versus taking it and flipping it around.
YS: I never do that!
RL: But! When I did it that way, it worked better because I was able to— instead of putting my breasts into my bra, they were already there. Because your straps are not supposed to solely support you, it’s the band that supports the weight of it.
YS: Good tip! Now, what brands do you find work best for you or have the best selection?
YS: We’re at a white party, and I own no white. A lot of plus size women are scared to wear white or lighter colors. Any tips?
RL: It’s the confidence you have in yourself. So I think whether it’s lime green or white, you should be able to wear it. And it starts with the undergarments. And then you build up.