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Le'Andra Dove affectionately known as Elle is a black American designer. She was born and raised in Atlanta, GA and from the time she was 8 she knew she wanted to become a designer. One of her first designs was inspired by a Georgia O'Keefe painting. She is formally taught and received her BFA in fashion design and merchandising from the International Academy of Design Technology- Orlando in 2012. She later launched Lorenza James by Elle Dove in 2013. "I was making beautiful garments that I couldn't wear the entire time I was in school. Now I want to serve women that look like me..." Lorenza James by Elle Dove has seen its ups and downs over the years since its conception but has always found a way to thrive and serve the plus community through stylish looks that turn heads and provide comfort. Le'Andra is a finalist for The Cultivate Award Year II presented by The Curvy Fashionista with founding sponsor Eloquii.
Born in Baltimore and raised in Howard County, Maryland, Charniece White is an economist, curator, pattern maker, and full-package technical designer with 10+ years of experience. A social justice, civil rights, and women’s rights activist, Charniece lives for being a champion for the underrepresented. She curates and dreams for little Black girls and children who don’t see representations of themselves in fashion on the runway and behind the runway. Charniece was inspired to be a designer after attending Spelman College and getting involved in Fashion Clubs that crossed over with Clark Atlanta to throw fashion shows. Charniece owns two sister lines that offer up to sizes 5X and 30, Pinecone Row and B A R K W O O D. The former is named after the street she grew up on and the latter speaks to the woman she is and aspires to be. Pinecone Row, the fun and trendy of the two, was launched during the pandemic after realizing the need for more moderately priced clothing was eminent. B A R K W O O D, which launched in 2017and was temporarily closed due to Covid but is set to reopen in September 2022, is a more modern, contemporary and elevated brand. Charniece is a finalist for The Cultivate Award Year II presented by The Curvy Fashionista with founding sponsor Eloquii.
Matthew Robinson has loved fashion for as long as he can remember and grew up obsessed with shopping as a child. He designed his first dress at 13, designed high school classmates’ prom dresses, and began his career in the fashion industry at 16, working retail for Lane Bryant, Torrid, Bloomingdale’s, and Saks Fifth Avenue. He studied fashion at El Camino College in Torrance, CA, and earned his degree in Apparel Design and Merchandising at San Francisco State University. In 2019, Matthew began working as an adjunct instructor for the Academy of Art University. Starting his entrepreneurial designer endeavors in 2011, Matthew created one-of-a-kind pieces, focusing on size inclusivity. In 2017, Matthew showed his first collection – “Part One: Color Block”, a colorful, playful collection inspired by mid 20th century at Full Figured Fashion Week. In 2018, he showcased his second collection which was in partnership with Dress for Success San Francisco at their Annual Benefit Gala. Matthew is a finalist for The Cultivate Award Year II presented by The Curvy Fashionista with founding sponsor Eloquii.
Founded in 2010 by celebrity designer Angela Rene’, Rene’ Tyler creates custom, contemporary designs for women sizes 12 and above. Rene' Tyler designs have been worn by celebrities including Laverne Cox, Dulcé Sloan, Mary Lambert, Marsha Ambrosius, and most recently Vivica A. Fox. The brand was featured on the critically acclaimed AMC television series Dietland starring Julianna Margulies and Joy Nash. In 2016, Rene’ Tyler made history as the first-ever plus-size brand to show at LA Fashion Week. Inspired by the belief that high-end fashion should be inclusive for women of all shapes and sizes, she opened the first-ever plus-size boutique on the Las Vegas Strip, at The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian Resort.  In 2020 the boutique opened at the Fashion Show Mall. Her Noir et Blanc collection debuted in New York at Oxford Fashion Studio, at Pier 59 Studios, making her the only brand to showcase an all plus-size collection for the fall and winter 2020 season. She believes whether you’re a size four or thirty-four, fashion is for everyone! Angela' Rene is a finalist for The Cultivate Award Year II presented by The Curvy Fashionista with founding sponsor Eloquii.
Shavonne Dorsey is an accomplished fashion designer and the 2020 winner of The Big Find on HSN. The Big Find is a national search on HSN which finds America's top talent. After her win, she partnered with the mega retailer to meet the fashion needs of women all over the USA through her designs. Her clothing line is now sold through HSN, which reaches over 80 million homes through its on-television and on-line shopping network. Prior to her success with HSN, she was the first plus size designer to be selected for Macy’s Chicago Fashion Incubator Program in 2011, which was the catalyst to her designing career. Shavonne believes that women should be respected regardless of their size and should be celebrated through her beautiful designs.
Becky Jarvis is the owner and creator of Curvy Chic Closet, the largest plus-size consignment sales event in North America, founded in 2011. The 4-day, semi-annual event includes over 15 participating vendors and a fashion show featuring women of all ages from 14 to 60+, as well as big and tall men. Twice a year, this event attracts hundreds of women across Portland and the Pacific Northwest to purchase clothes and accessories at incredible discounts, in addition to attending the largest plus size fashion show on the west coast.  In Fall 2018, Becky Jarvis created the Curvy Closet Foundation a 501c3 (non-profit) to promote self-confidence and self-love through empowerment workshops. Ms. Jarvis was a nominee in 2017, 2018, and 2019 for Fashion Show Producer of the Year for Portland Fashion and Style Awards. The Curvy Chic Closet Spring 2022 show is scheduled from April 28th through May 1st in Hillsboro, Oregan.
Chelsea Kronengold, MA, is an internationally-recognized media spokesperson and expert on topics relating to body image, eating disorders, diet culture, media literacy, and weight stigma. She has been featured in over 50 media publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, NBC, CBS, People Magazine, and USA TODAY.  Presently, Chelsea is the communications lead for the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), tasked with creating and executing the organization's communications and brand strategy. In this role, Chelsea also advises Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, and NBCUniversal on eating disorders content and resources; trust and safety policies; and tips for responsible media coverage. NEDA just launched the inaugural Body Acceptance Week, which promotes body positivity, body neutrality, and body liberation for all, taking place November 1st  - 5th!
Melissa Mercedes is a celebrity fashion designer specializing in plus sizes, based in Los Angeles.  She has dressed celebrities such as Lavern Cox, Nina Parker and Nia Jax for events such as the People Choice Awards, Grammys, and much more. She is the winner of The Cultivate Award, an initiative from Eloquii and The Curvy Fashionista that supports indie designers of color in the plus-size fashion community. She won the opportunity to design a capsule collection with Eloquii that will be sold on the retailer’s site in 2022. Melissa Mercedes is also a 2021 Outstanding Female Designer nominee at The Virtual Full Figured Industry Awards happening Nov. 6th!
Heather McGarry is the AVP of Public Relations and Social Media for Lane Bryant and Cacique. Lane Bryant is the leading national specialty retailer for plus size women offering apparel, intimates, shoes, and accessories. Lane Bryant and Cacique operate e-commerce websites and over 600 stores throughout the United States. Heather has been with Lane Bryant for fifteen years in a succession of roles in marketing and has over 25 years of experience in apparel marketing.  As project manager for numerous Lane Bryant campaigns over the years including #ImNoAngel and #PlusIsEqual, she believes in a client focused strategy, meeting her where and when she is ready to shop. She has been active in the plus community since day one and is being honored at the Silver Fox Fashion Soiree on September 18th for her work as a woman in the fashion industry. Lane Bryant is being honored as the 2021 Retail Brand of the Year at The Virtual Full Figured Industry Awards happening Nov. 6th!
Renee Cafaro is the US Editor of plus size print magazine, SLiNK and designer at her new luxury brand RCA Public Label, serving sizes 16 - 32.  She has had a lengthy career in social justice and politics prior to her time in plus size fashion but finds both fields to be rooted in equality and advocacy. RCA Public Label is partly mission-based, not only to serve the sizes most forgotten by the industry but to aim to revitalize the economy in NYC’s Garment Center post-pandemic
Tracy Christian is the owner of TCA MGMT a Los Angeles based boutique talent agency and the founder of Sante Grace, a fashion forward luxury plus size clothing line. A veteran talent agent with more than twenty years in the industry, her past clients include Oscar winners Melissa Leo, Octavia Spencer, and Mo’Nique, as well as Emmy and Golden Globe winner Elizabeth Moss. In 2020, Tracy took everything she learned from years of working for textile manufacturers and designing her own wardrobe and poured it into Sante Grace. It is a fashion forward luxury plus size clothing line with garments ranging from Italian silks, cashmere, and transitional cottons, this means the line is also sustainable. Sante Grace is designed exclusively by women and pays workers a living wage, something that unfortunately is not the standard in the garment industry.
Nick Kaplan is the President and Co-Founder of Fashion to Figure (“FTF”), a leading plus size women’s fashion brand he co-founded with his brother in 2004.  Fashion to Figure, under Nick’s leadership, launched as a single store location and evolved to a $30 Million multi-channel private equity-backed venture which was ultimately sold to New York & Co, now RetailWinds, a publicly-traded company (Ticker: RTW). In addition to leading FTF as a key growth driver for the company, Kaplan also serves on the Executive Leadership Team of RTW and works closely with the company’s CEO and Board of Directors.  Over the lifespan of FTF, Nick has strategically led several areas of the business including design, merchandising, planning, supply chain, logistics, data analytics, store operations, and the customer experience and journey.
Actor, model, and activist Hayley Hasselhoff is known for being one of the world’s leading curve models and has made an impact within the fashion world committing to promote and celebrate inclusivity in the industry for all genders, races, shapes, and sizes. Hayley has designed for the plus size brand Elvi, which caters to sizes 14-38. She’s released two collections so far, which have been sold online, in Nordstrom, as well as international retailers Next and Navabi. Hayley began her journey into body positivity after starring in the lead role of Amber in ABC’s HUGE, and has since maintained her passion for acting, appearing in other TV shows such as WHY WOMEN KILL (CBS) and Disney’s PAIR OF KINGS. Hayley also previously appeared on Good Morning America as the Stylist Contributor, and is an avid writer, regularly contributing at Marie Claire UK as the Fashion and Wellbeing editor, alongside her Curve column. Most recently, she made history as the first curve model to appear on the cover of Playboy Germany!
Tawana Blassingame is the CEO and Founder of Queen Size Magazine, a monthly full figured fashion and lifestyle publication for both men and women founded in 2011. Under her parent company Cohesive Minds Inc, Queen Size Magazine has enjoyed ten years of success. She is also the Executive Producer of the Full Figured Industry Awards (known as the FFIAs). The FFIAs is a prestigious ceremony of awards and distinguished recognition honoring the craftsmanship and commitment to excellence across various platforms spanning the full figured industry. From models, makeup artists and designers, to bloggers, photographers, entertainers, influencers, productions and more. Through the magazine and FFIAs, Tawana and her team are continuously working to ensure that the full figured and the big and tall industry is seen, heard, respected and recognized. The Full Figured Industry Awards will be held virtually this year, November 6th!
Elyse Kaye is the Founder and CEO of Bloom Bras – a line of patented activewear for the well-endowed woman.  After learning the health risks and looking at the untapped market size, she developed a patented, fully-customizable sports bra built with NASA, shipping and packaging experts, and a celebrity costume designer. The aim is to disrupt the $184.6 billion athletic wear industry. The average bra size has risen from a 34B to a 34DD in 20 years. Mainstream brands do not cater to the majority of the population. Bloom Bras is now the most body inclusive line on the market ranging from 28C - 56L. Bloom Bras has been featured on various media outlets including The Huffington Post, Women's Health, New York Post, and Forbes.
Grisel Paula is the Founder and CEO of Rebdolls, an online fashion retailer committed to providing unapologetic fashion to women of all sizes. Born in the Dominican Republic, she moved with her family to NYC at the age of 10. Grisel started her career as a plus-size model getting to know the ins and outs of the fashion industry and noticed something important was missing from the market — trendy clothing suited to plus-size bodies. She launched Rebdolls in the Fall of 2015 and offers a full range of sizes up to size 32. The brand prides itself on #sexyforall size inclusivity.
Alissa Wilson is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Stylish Curves, an online destination that has been serving the plus-size community since 2009. She started Stylish Curves to create a space for plus size women to discover new plus-size designers, retailers, style tips, and celebrate the body positive movement. People Style named her blog, Stylish Curves, a go-to fashion hub for plus size women and she has appeared as a plus size fashion expert on Good Morning America. Alissa has been featured on Refinery 29, Bustle, Vogue Style, Essence Magazine, Redbook, Glamour.com, as well as a host of other media outlets.
Marjorie Gubelmann is a New York fashion and social A-Lister and now also Queen Bee of the DJs. As a DJ she goes by the name Mad Marj and has opened for Cardi B, Katy Perry, Mary J. Blige, Liam Payne, Lil Jon, Rita Ora, New Order and Skrillex. She has worked with clients such as Dolce and Gabbana, Tiffany & Co, Cadillac, and many more. Her inspirational story has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, W Magazine, Vanity Fair, Town and Country, Vogue Mexico, Women’s Wear Daily, Vogue.com, and Style.com. Mad Marj has also appeared on the Today Show and Martha and Snoop Potluck Dinner Party.
Gaëlle Prudencio is a Paris based plus size fashion blogger and designer. She is one of the spokespersons of the body positive movement in France and the creator of the French Curves challenge, a monthly outfit challenge that brings together French-speaking bloggers. In March 2017 she launched Ibilola, the first line of plus size clothing in Wax, and recently released her first book, "Proud to be myself", about her path to self-acceptance.
Mallory B. Richardson is a Native American influencer and a member of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe. She is the CEO of The Platform Experience, A North Carolina based fashion house that provides multiple services including wardrobe styling and model coaching. She is the Creator and Producer of North Carolina’s plus fashion week entitled Crusade of Curves. Mallory is alos the Founder of Beaucoup, Raleigh’s premiere plus size nonprofit support network for career development, wellness, and service. She is adding another notch to her belt, fashion designer, and recently launched the Nova Grace Collection, a duster collection, infused with her Indigenous culture with the designs and color stories for everyone to enjoy.
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