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Curvy Fashion is Front & Center at Fashion Week Columbus


On Friday, September 29,2023, the IL MODA Mixer for Fashion Week Columbus was held. The highlight of the evening was a Curvy Fashion Show featuring three local emerging designers. This show was a long time coming. Curvy designers and models have participated in previous Fashion Week Columbus events, but this is the first year they had a stand-alone event devoted entirely to curvy designers.


During my time at Fashion Week Columbus, I learned that Columbus has the third largest concentration of designers of any Fashion Week in the country. Councilwoman Lourdes Barroso De Padilla was the inspiration behind the inaugural curvy show this year. Along with Columbus Fashion Council Board President Lubna Najjar and in partnership with City Council, Lourdes was able to help secure a grant that paved the way for the show this year. The Councilwoman told me, “We don’t always see representation in fashion. . .Everybody deserves to look and feel beautiful.” She also discussed the importance of seeing someone on a runway with a body that is similar to your own and realizing that you can rock that outfit. As a plus sized fashionista myself, I see the importance of this as well. It also made me so happy to see that the Councilwoman brought her daughter to the runway show. Showing young women examples of runway models that are diverse is so crucial for the next generation.

The first featured designer at the mixer was Karla Young Person (@we_are_thickish). Karla said, “We are finally getting to see more shapes and more curves. All women are exquisite as they are. With this collection, they do not need to worry about whether the pieces will fit.” Karla’s pieces at the show focused on incredible outfits for a night on the town.


Next up was Amber Hall (@ambernicole_ambernicole). Amber showcased a collection focused on red and pink tones which she called “Red October.” I had to mention to her that in my hometown of Philly, we call that the Phillies post season! She told me her collection was inspired by her grandmother and a specific mauve dress she wore when Amber was younger. Amber said she focuses on plus and formalwear but next up she was going to create more bridal as well as fashion for men.

The final designer showcased at the mixer was LaShanta Lewis (@shop_confidencelingerie). She explained this line was created from a journey about her own confidence. She added, “My brand is about curvy confidence. We are colorful, fierce bosses at every size.” The collection is meant to be worn in or out of the bedroom. The pieces show lingerie as outerwear. LaShanta added, “I used to wear lingerie for validation. Now I realize it’s not for them, it is for you. Dare to love yourself.”

I also had the pleasure of meeting one of the curvy models, Max Dixon (@curvesandcatwalks). She was a fit model for Lane Bryant for many years and an ambassador for Fashion Week Columbus this year. She created Max Model Management, a talent development brand helping models create lucrative careers. She has had such a successful career herself and now is looking to help others. She told me, “We have to go to the spaces where we are wanted, and our individuality is celebrated because that’s where you are going to get the work.”

I also had the pleasure of meeting one of the curvy models, Max Dixon (@curvesandcatwalks). She was a fit model for Lane Bryant for many years and an ambassador for Fashion Week Columbus this year. She created Max Model Management, a talent development brand helping models create lucrative careers. She has had such a successful career herself and now is looking to help others. She told me, “We have to go to the spaces where we are wanted, and our individuality is celebrated because that’s where you are going to get the work.”

It was such a treat to attend the inaugural curvy fashion show for Fashion Week Columbus and talk to these emerging designers and budding entrepreneurs. I know this will be the first of many other shows highlighting plus and curvy fashion.




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