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Walking on the Wild Side… Alana ‘Breaks the Rules of Fashion

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Walking on the Wild Side… Alana ‘Breaks the Rules of Fashion…

[divider]PHOTO CREDITS[/divider]

Editorial Copy:
Mia Amber Davis

Photographer:
Inez Lewis

Stylist:
Reah Norman

MUA
Marlene G

Hair:
Jo Williams

Plus Model:

Alana

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Fashions:
Biluzik.com
Torrid.com

 

 

 

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PLUS Model Magazine brings you the fashion you love and closer to the models and influencers you admire.

Ageless Style

Style Uncompromised With BAACAL Designer and Founder Cynthia Vincent

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Style Uncompromised With BAACAL Designer and Founder Cynthia Vincent

In a world where the fashion industry has often adhered to rigid ideals of beauty, Cynthia Vincent stands as a trailblazer, challenging conventions and fostering a sense of belonging for individuals of all shapes and sizes.

Cynthia Vincent designs celebrate the beauty of diversity and cater to a wide range of body types, breaking free from the restrictive norms that have for so long defined the runway.

Get to know BAACAL Designer and Founder Cynthia Vincent…

Can you tell us about the ethos and inspiration behind your fashion brand? What drove you to create it, and what values does it represent?”

“Style Uncompromised”  is the entire ethos of BAACAL distilled down to its core.  Style, quality, thoughtful and sustainable. 

Style is something you have or evolve as you better understand yourself. Clothing is one if the most powerful tools to express who you are and how you present yourself to the world.  

Quality, Style and Sustainability are interconnected for me. 

Beautifully made clothes can last a lifetime, if the design and style last past a trend cycle.  

In a competitive market, what sets your brand apart from others in the plus-size fashion industry? How do you differentiate yourself, both in terms of style and messaging?”

BAACAL is really the first designer-led brand for Plus, Extended, and Curvy sizes.  

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 As a CFDA Designer, I want to give more women the ability to wear clothes that fit and flatter. I don’t really know of another brand that is offering beautifully made, expertly fit clothes past a size 8 that are stylish enough to last for years not just a trend cycle. Especially not from a brand that is also concerned with ethical and sustainable practices.

Could you share some insights into the design philosophy of your brand? How do you ensure that your clothing not only looks great but also caters to the unique needs and preferences of plus-size individuals?”

The philosophy is: Modern wardrobe essentials mixed with the item of the season. 

For me, it is important to see what is missing in the market and offer it to her. Items I too am often needing and wanting.  When I first launched BAACAL it was December – and I wanted to prove a point so I offered Coats!  I did that because I was always looking for a new coat in November- December and they were always gone by then.  I realized I could not be the only person.  My hunch paid off. We sold out. The Double-Breasted Car Coat, and in Spring the Trench coat, have been perennial sellouts for us every year since. 

For BAACAL it’s about building an amazing wardrobe that you can pull from and always know you will look and feel good.  

That’s the essentials like the Car Coat, our Tie Neck Dress or the Perfect White Shirt. It’s also items of the season that hit the trends while still being timeless. Like our iconic Joni Dress – which started as the Item of the Season, but now we do a few new cotton prints each year and our customers collect them. She does this because she knows whenever she reaches for it, she will feel fantastic. 

Fashion is often about self-expression. How does your brand empower individuals to express themselves through their style, regardless of their size?”

I love fashion and trends and creativity. I think self-expression through clothing is not trivial. It is vital to our well-being. 

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When I am designing and creating a garment, the most important thing besides looking beautiful is how it feels.  Because when you feel and look amazing it is empowering!  We have all had those days when you have an amazing outfit on, but something is just not right. Then you are pulled out of the moment – forced to deal with a strap or adjust something. You just don’t feel great because it does not fit right.  

As women past a size 10 we have been used to settling on fit, settling on what little choices were out there and being unable to fully express ourselves.  There are so many brands and clothes out there – but not for women past a certain size.  

Longevity and sustainability are important aspects of the fashion industry today. What are your long-term goals for the brand in terms of sustainability and ethical practices?”

When I decided to start again in this Industry I had to ask myself two very important questions: 1) Does anyone really need any more clothes;  and  How do we be more mindful of everything we put into this world? 

The first question was answered with a resounding YES when I had my a-ha moment. I was not able to find anything to wear for a very important meeting with an Icon of fashion. After spending countless hours and many many try-ons later, I realized I could not find beautiful clothes for myself that were both well-made and stylish. 

I knew I had to start a new brand for women who have been ignored in Fashion, we actually need clothes! 

But what about the waste? 

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I had seen firsthand the enormous amount of waste in our industry and even resistance to just recycling  

Thank goodness now almost everyone is aware. That said, BAACAL is made with a commitment to be 80% sustainable. We use upcycled materials, stock and deadstock fabric and trims. We source and produce the majority of what we offer locally and use women-owned small businesses that we pay a living wage to. We are committed to reducing waste wherever possible.

Could you elaborate on the size inclusivity of your brand? Who is your target audience, and how do you ensure that your clothing appeals to a diverse range of body types and tastes?”

I take great care to cross-fit on many different body types as I’m developing my designs. I also offer styles that fit in a certain way and use techniques that are size inclusive such as smocking and adjustability. 

The BAACAL woman is anyone with a discerning taste who cares about quality. They are usually at a point in their style evolution that they want to build a wardrobe that will last for years to come. 

When I decided to launch BAACAL I did my research to back up what I already knew – that larger women were being systematically ignored in designer and contemporary fashion.  That the average American woman was a size 16/18. That size 10 and 12 were always the first to sell out in my past brands Vince and Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent.  Despite these fact, stores would not buy them. So, I took the majority size and went equally up and down the scale, creating our current 1-5 sizing. 

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Inclusivity and diversity have become central themes in fashion. How does your brand actively promote these values, both in your designs and in your marketing strategies?”

Inclusivity has been a part of my design ethos my entire career.

As a Latina woman, most people assume I am not. I have seen firsthand how most “other groups” have been ignored for far too long. It was important to me from day one to show diverse images of women that you do not normally see in fashion.  That includes age, size and race. 

Collaborations and partnerships can be powerful in the fashion industry. Have you collaborated with influencers or other brands to promote body positivity and inclusivity? If so, could you share some examples?”

We are always looking for new people and brands to collaborate with.  Collaboration is the modern approach. One of the most amazing things that’s evolved in the last decade is the democratization of fashion- I love seeing how influencers we dress create their looks from our clothing. We try to fill as many requests as we can because BAACAL seems to be a favorite for fashion week content!

Body positivity is a key message in the plus-size fashion community. How does your brand contribute to this movement, and what initiatives have you undertaken to support and uplift plus-size individuals?”

While we participate in many local events here for our plus-size community, I think one thing that I really can do is help women learn to express themselves through clothing. There is starting to be a fantastic shift in the dialogue, and the resource of our communal voice is so powerful. I love seeing women of all ages being proud of their beautiful selves and remember that not so long ago those voices barely existed. Still, I hear so often “I can’t wear that” or “That’s not for me”- coming from a buried experience, and a place of shame or insecurity. I want to scrub that from our language. The reason many people feel they “can’t” is because they’ve been told that by the lack of options at stores; or by trying designs that aren’t properly constructed for our beautiful shapes. I speak through my design and want to embrace and empower our community in the best ways possible.

Could you describe a memorable success story or transformation that one of your customers experienced through your brand? How does this reflect the impact of your clothing and message?”

I am very fortunate to have customers who share how much they love the brand with me once they discover it. One that really touched me was a woman who had not purchased a single item of clothing for herself in 18 years! Because she had given up on fashion! She purchased our Joni dress to wear to her son’s wedding with the hopes of having something appropriate. 

She shared with me how my dress helped her look and feel amazing at the event and how beautiful she felt.  Not only did she get compliments all night (she was the mother of the Groom after all) but when 3 total strangers complimented her on her dress. She thanked me for making a dress that could make her feel truly beautiful for the first time in decades. 

Looking ahead, what exciting developments or collections can your customers look forward to from your brand in the near future?”

I am most excited by two things right now: More upcycled pieces, and bringing my collection to women in person.  I am working on a project that will allow people to feel, try on and fall in love with the clothes!   **?Three things?? Live selling is something I’ve just started to play with- it’s almost like a new version of the boutique experience of the “old days”. Communicating with the customer to explain multiple ways to wear garments, helping her experiment with fashion and engaging in a direct dialogue about how we can use clothing to reflect the way we want to be seen in the world.

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Facebook @baacalclothing
Instagram. @baacalofficial
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Cover Models

The Influencer Issue: Interview With Richlove Rockson

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The Influencer Issue- Interview With Richlove Rockson-header

Interview With Influencer Richlove Rockson…

For our cover model Richlove Rockson her journey has taken her from limited fashion options simply because of her size to showing the world great style via her social media platforms.

PLUS MODEL MAGAZINE - November 2022

Changing the narrative and inspiring others that feel challenged is her passion and we are delighted to get to know more about this beautiful fashionista in our personal interview.

Get to know cover model Richlove Rockson…

How would you describe your personal fashion aesthetic?

I would describe my personal fashion aesthetic as classy yet simple with a pop of color.

Plus-size fashion has evolved in so many ways, and a lot of it we attribute to influencers like yourself showing clothing and style on a plus-size body. What prompted you to become a fashion influencer? Have you always loved fashion?

To be honest, when I was younger I didn’t have a great relationship with fashion because I could not find anything in my size, which lead me to wear a lot of men’s clothing because they were a wider fit. But when I saw my big brother Richmond, who was my little motivation back then, wearing clothes and making them his own I felt inspired. And that’s when everything kind of started. I just started to slowly love fashion and the way it opens you to express yourself with it. I always felt limited because it was and is hard to find clothing for plus-size people that are more trendy or as I like to say… “Not old people’s clothing”. Becoming a fashion influencer came later on.

As an influencer how do you hope to inspire anyone who comes across your images or this interview?

I want to inspire anyone out there that feels like they can’t wear what they want because they feel like they are not “allowed” to. That is what I use to feel, because of the lack of representation of plus-size women, men, and especially black plus-sized people. Fashion should be for everyone no matter the size, gender, and where you come from.

You are in Germany, can you tell us about the plus-size fashion industry? How has it changed and what do you hope to see happen in the future?

The plus-size fashion industry has changed for sure but in comparison to other countries like America or London, I feel like Germany has a lot to do! Most clothing that I personally can find in Germany is not “trendy” and are more often boring. To be honest you can also see it when you walk through the streets of Germany. When someone dresses nice or just wears something with color they automatically look at you as if they have never seen a well-dressed plus-size person. I hope to see Germany embrace fashion as others have and see fashion as something that is and can be worn by anyone.

Diversity and inclusion are topics that we have been advocating for sixteen years. How important is it for you and how do you hope to change the narrative in the fashion industry?

Diversity and inclusion are very important to me and I feel like I stand for them. Changing the narrative in the fashion industry will always be hard but I am always down for a challenge. I also feel like I have already started by putting myself out there and showing that fashion can be expressed by everyone and anyone! Because if I could just change one person’s way of thinking about fashion that will go a long way because they can also change one person… and so on and so on.

Follow on IG @richloverockson

View the interview with Richmond Rockson

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Cover Models

The Influencer Issue: Interview With Richmond Rockson

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The Influencer Issue

Interview With Influencer Richmond Rockson…

Influencers have changed the landscape of the fashion industry by offering people style inspiration outside of traditional marketing.

For our cover models, Richmond and Richlove Rockson, working as models/influencers their work means more than that. It’s an opportunity to offer representation for those who fall outside of the “traditional” body shapes and gender norms.

PLUS MODEL MAGAZINE - November 2022

It’s clear that style comes naturally for these siblings but more importantly, their focus is to inspire their followers to love and accept themselves and show that there are no boundaries in fashion.

Get to know cover model Richmond Rockson…

How would you describe your personal fashion aesthetic?

Personally, I would describe my fashion aesthetic as “Street-classy.“ I like to combine street-style elements with elements of the classic tailored man look.

Best Dressed-Richmond-

What prompted you to become a fashion influencer? Have you always loved fashion?

I have always loved fashion since I was a kid. I used to design clothes in my bedroom instead of going out and playing soccer as most boys did at that young age. Funny enough, my mom would always get mad because we would run out of paper all the time, due to the amount I was drawing.

As an influencer how do you hope to inspire anyone who comes across your images or this interview?

I aspire to inspire people to wear whatever they want and try something new. My style is very androgynous, meaning most of my looks are a combination of pieces from the women’s and men’s sections. I want my viewers to understand that fashion has no gender and by separating it into people, we are missing out on the full beauty and potential of fashion.

Best Dressed-Richmond-

You are in Germany, can you tell us about the plus-size fashion industry? How has it changed and what do you hope to see happen in the future?

Here in Germany, the industry has changed a lot! However, there is still space to grow. Online a lot of brands offer bigger or extended sizes. However, these extended sizes are not available in stores. In the future, I wish to see that change. Also, I would love to see extended sizes for the entire range of garments brands offer. Not just selected pieces. Brands tend to offer plus-size exclusive collections. However, from personal experience, I can say that these are most of the time very plain and not as “Cool“ or “Fashionable“ as the collections offered for commercial sizes.

Best Dressed-Richmond-

How important is it for you and how do you hope to change the narrative in the fashion industry?

Diversity and inclusion are very impossible for me as I personally do not fit into the Eurocentric beauty standard. I wish for brands to execute true diversity and for the concept of seeing different faces, bodies, shapes, and skin tones not to be something special anymore. But rather very common. Because then, no one would have to feel like they are not part of the dome beauty standard. With my style and my imagery, I hope to showcase to brands and to everyone else, that everyone is and can be beautiful.

Follow Richmond Rockson on IG @richmond_rockson

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Cover Models

Your Power, Your Breakthrough, An Interview With Cover Model Kathy Rosa – Partner

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Your Power, Your Breakthrough, An Interview With Cover Model Kathy Rosa - Partner
Partner

Your Power, Your Breakthrough, An Interview With Cover Model Kathy Rosa…

PLUS MODEL MAGAZINE - October 2022.png

One of my favorite quotes is:

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” by  Charles R. Swindoll

When I learned about Kathy’s story this was what came to mind. While we like to think we are in control of our lives so much is actually our reaction and how we power through those challenging moments.

Your Power, Your Breakthrough, An Interview With Cover Model Kathy Rosa

Get To Know Our Cover Model Kathy Rosa…

Can you tell us about yourself… where you are from… anything about your upbringing or family you want to share and your career path

My name is Kathy Rosa born and raised in Queens, New York! Incredibly proud of my culture and nationality-being Dominican. I studied fashion Design at both The Art Institute and the Fashion Institute of Technology AKA FIT. Proud first-generation college graduate!

I come from a very large family, one of seven; family is at the core of everything I do. I take pride in saying that my family came into the United States with nothing and paved the way for their children and their children’s children. I work extremely hard both internally and externally to ensure their great efforts never go in vain. My journey has led me to always live in a state of gratitude. Everything I do… I do it with pure love and joy.

Grateful to the most high to have included me in the right room, at the right time surrounded by the right people. Looking forward to being able to one day pay it forward!

Your Power, Your Breakthrough, An Interview With Cover Model Kathy Rosa

Working in the fashion industry and being plus-size have you seen a shift in the perception of the plus-size customer and what she wants to wear?

I certainly have seen a shift in perception, with more and more companies diversifying and widening their size ranges to finally include larger sizes. I want to walk into any retailer and feel confident that I can make a purchase, without being sequestered to a certain floor/section. We want everything that’s offered to everyone else!

Your Power, Your Breakthrough, An Interview With Cover Model Kathy Rosa

How important is it to have someone who can speak on behalf of the plus-size customer in the rooms where decisions are being made? 

We’re now a major part of the conversation, while previously it felt as if we were eavesdropping. With our seat at the table, it’s crucial that we use our voices to continue promoting change. The same decisions being made for a missy customer won’t necessarily apply to a plus-size woman. Our point of view is crucial!

Let’s talk about your personal fashion aesthetic, what do you love most about the new WynneDenim and the additional pieces within the launch?

Comfort is at the core of my personal aesthetic. I truly believe comfort attributes to confidence in a major way. When you’re comfortable your confidence is illuminated. Then I go in and layer in edge, feminine touches, immerse streetwear, and pieces colors and textures that promote pure joy! WynneDenim exudes comfort. I especially love how they moved and grooved along with me. Made me feel secure, form to my figure, and most importantly no gaping!

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Your Power, Your Breakthrough, An Interview With Cover Model Kathy Rosa

Everyone’s confidence journey is personal… has there ever been a time in your life when you faced a challenge and came out on the other side even stronger? 

At age 29 I was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Eternally grateful to be walking into year four of being in remission. Some may argue that surviving a catastrophic event may be one of the hardest things you’ll ever go through. I now believe that it is the rebuilding after that is the most challenging. Letting go of who you used to be so that the real you can manifest.

Using the same pieces but in a completely different composition. I thank God for choosing me and allowing my continuation on this beautiful earth.  If you’re in your reconstruction season stay the course and bring that fortitude!

Your Power, Your Breakthrough, An Interview With Cover Model Kathy Rosa

Don’t let anyone or anything alter your faith. Spread love and allow your light to illuminate the darkness.

Show them you can keep going…
To My family and Friends, I love you always.

Follow Kathy on Instagram @katrosa29
Follow Kathy on TikTok @kathyana29 [divider]PHOTO CREDITS[/divider]

Cover Model: Kathy Rosa
Photography LucasPictures
Makeup / Hair Glamazon Beauty Cosmetics
Stylist Meghan O’Connor
Production Madeline Jones
Wardrobe Marla Wynne avail at HSN

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Ageless Style

Fit Genius… Finally, A Plus Size Denim That Fits! It’s GENIUS! – Partner

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Finally, A Plus Size Denim That Fits! It's GENIUS! - Partner
Partner

Yes, Fit Genius is the Plus Size Denim That Fits!

Let us tell you about the new Fit Genius… So you’ve been looking for a pair of jeans and yes we all have a pair (or 10) that we love, but what about a denim jean that moves with you and answers all those questions you’ve been asking the brands for?

Is the denim stretchy enough, what about recovery?
What if I’m not an hourglass shape, will it fit me well?
And what about that annoying waist gap?

The new ‘Fit Genius’ denim at Lane Bryant has launched and it’s addressing all the issues we’ve been talking about for years.

Before putting this shoot together the denim was sent to our editor, Madeline Jones to try for over a month.

“I honestly did not know what to expect because I own denim jeans that I already love so when I tried on the Fit Genius denim I was not expecting anything super-noticeable because their denim is always great. Well, I was in for a big surprise, the denim fabric was not what I expected, it was not heavy denim and it was not a legging. The waist was not uncomfortable and NO waist gap and the way I was able to wear them to work, run errands, and still look like I just put them on made me a true fan of the new Fit Genius denim.”

maddy jones - plus size denim that fits

We asked some of our favorite NYC models and influencers to try the new Fit Genius denim for themselves.

plus size denim that fits
plus size denim that fits
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Stephanie Nadia

IG @tephanienadia

Stephanie’s style is fun whether she is casual or casually fabulous!

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Stephanie - plus size denim that fits
stephanie - plus size denim that fits
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Shainna Tucker

IG @thickgrlscloset

Shainna’s style is versatile and always on-trend.

shay - plus size denim that fits
shay - plus size denim that fits
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Faith Costa

IG @faith_plusfashion

Faith wears her confidence inside and out and always with a smile.

faith - plus size denim that fits
faith - plus size denim that fits
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Gwen DeVoe

IG @gwenmoguldevoe

Gwen continues to inspire all of us, and particularly women 50+ that fashion is for everyone.

gwen - plus size denim that fits
gwen - plus size denim that fits
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Jessie Diaz-Herrera

IG @curveswithmoves

Jessie’s work in the wellness space includes joyful movement and we love to see her move in her Fit Genius denim.

jessie - plus size denim that fits
jessie - plus size denim that fits
[divider] . [/divider]

Be sure to CLICK HERE to check out the new Fit Genius denim at Lane Bryant available in 2 prints in sizes 10/12 – 38/40.

plus size denim that fits
[divider]PHOTO CREDITS[/divider]

Photos
LucasPictures NYC IG @lucaspicturesnyc

Produced by
Madeline Jones IG @plusjones

Fit Genius Jeans
Available at LaneBryant.com

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Cover Models

New Season Of Style, December 2021 Issue

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New Season Of Style, December 2021 Issue

New Season Of Style, in collaboration with CC World of Curves, featuring Avenue

Welcome to a World of Curves!

PLUS MODEL MAGAZINE - December 2021

The Avenue has been a staple of effortless everyday style for plus-size women for 34 years. Throughout their history, they faced many ups and downs and after they filed for bankruptcy in 2019 they were rescued by a brand that we all love and know very well City Chic.

Known for its impeccable fit, sexy silhouettes, and passion for its customer, City Chic has continued to create a significant impact on the plus-size fashion industry.

The journey for this passionate brand brought them to acquire more brands and create a “World of Curves”.  You can shop 11 brands under ONE umbrella at Avenue.com. What makes this so exciting is there is literally something for EVERYONE.

Let’s take a look…

Avenue

Avenue combines comfort with style:  This is where you will find everyday style at a budget-friendly price point.

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1 - Welcome to a World of Curves

Arna York

Perfectly aligned with the more conservative fashionista, these pieces are sure to be your favorites for the seasons to come.

2 - Welcome to a World of Curves

Aveology

Boho-chic meets street style… If you are looking for whimsical style & rich prints this is just for you!

3 - Welcome to a World of Curves

CCX

Sexy, fun street style for the person who loves to flaunt her curves.

4 - Welcome to a World of Curves

City Chic

Elegance meets bold attitude… Dress to impress in everything from dresses to outerwear.

5 - Welcome to a World of Curves

Cloudwalkers Footwear

It’s like your walking on AIR when you wear Cloudwalkers!

6 - Welcome to a World of Curves

Fox & Royal Lingerie

Luxurious, playful, and best of all wearable! This is plus-size lingerie at its best!

7 - Welcome to a World of Curves

Hips & Curves

Love your hips & curves in beautiful intimates you can wear day or night.

8 - Welcome to a World of Curves

Loralette

Fun-loving styles for the young or young at heart…  🙂

9 - Welcome to a World of Curves

Societie+

Youthful styles meets street style… make a statement anywhere you go!

10 - Welcome to a World of Curves

Zim & Zoe

Athleisure & lounge for the woman looking to embrace comfort while looking completely put together and on-trend.

11 - Welcome to a World of Curves
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Shop All Brands Here

[divider]COVER PHOTO CREDITS[/divider]

Models

Cheyenne
bicoastalmgmt.com

Melanie
IG @thesoulasylum

Photographer
Luke Jones

Makeup and Hair
Christian Briceno

Styling
Meaghan O’Connor

Produced by
Madeline Jones

Models are wearing Avenue.com

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