How CurvyNoire Has Officially Changed NYFW by Giving Women of Color The Credit They Are Due

During NYFW this season, the talk of the town was CurvyNoire.

When blogger, feminist and entrepreneur Maui Bigelow of Phat Girl Fresh announced she was partnering with Madame Noire for an event during NYFW that would be dedicated to representing Black women and the key role they play in fashion, women of color rejoiced!

That event, titled CurvyNoire, aimed to celebrate women of color during a time where the majority of women we see highlighted are white women who are thin, cis-gender and affluent.

It’s no surprise that Black women have made substantial contributions to the fashion world, especially the plus size fashion scene.

The term body posivitity, which has been used synonymously with fashion in recent years, was co-founded by and for fat Black femme women.

In addition to Bigelow and her outstanding work to push women of color front and center within the fashion industry, we also have Kellie Brown of And I Get Dressed who created the #FatatFashionWeek hashtag movement and bloggers/influencers Cece Olisa and Chastity Valentine who co-founded theCURVYcon, the most celebrated and attended plus size-focused event of the year.

We have Black style mavens with strong voices such as NikkiFree, Shaina Harrison of Out of The Corner, Essie Golden of the brand Golden Confidence and Chante Burkett, to name a few, that prove that Black women’s contibution to fashion is significant.

Maui explains why it’s so important for Black women to be a part of the fashion conversation:

“No one styles and wows like women of color. We effortlessly create the trends that the world mimics and these truths are not lost on plus size women of color. Plus size women of color are as vital to plus size fashion as mainstream fashion because we ooze style and bring fashion alive.”

And with CurvyNoire, she is aiming to give women of color, particularly plus size women, a platform to be seen and heard, within an industry that has erased them from the conversation.

“The goal of CurvyNoire is to take up space where we are traditionally excluded. While black women and fat women are more visible in spaces  such as NYFW, plus size black women still finish last. There has been huge coverage of Tess Holiday on the runway during NYFW, which is great but why are black women who are visibly plus like Tess not seen and celebrated in a similar manner?  These are things that we need to discuss and resolve because we deserve more. CurvyNoire wants to be a change agent that is initiating better representation for plus size black women.”

The afternoon event included a panel discussion which discussed topics such as the lack of size inclusivity in fashion, weight discrimination, the importance of women supporting one another and how to combat a negative body image.

Most notably, the panel discussed why Black people rarely get credit for their tremendous contributions to the fashion industry.

The stunning fashion show included collections from:


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Curved By Sylvia Mollie

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PHAT Girl Bouteeque x Wendy S. Collection

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LiviRae Lingerie

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Maui tells us that CurvyNoire will definitely be returning to NYFW but until then, they will be hosting events in different spaces and providing support for plus size black women.

Thank you Maui for all you do for women of color and pushing the message that fashion is for everyone.

Click here to follow CurvyNoire on Instagram and stay updated on future events.

Make sure to check back on the blog this week for our special features on NYFW, theCURVYcon and more!

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