As the fashion, beauty, and media industry is forced to diversify their spectrum of inclusion, we still are lacking images and visuals of larger women on our magazines, tv’s, and on advertisements. Loni Love is a pioneer in the industry for plus size women from being a hilarious comedian to having a successful talk show as well as an acting career and an author. One thing about Love is that she has always empowered plus size women, particularly Black plus size women, while on and off the set.
While plus size fashion has certainly evolved, with more product offerings, in larger sizes for women, we’re still making strides in the fashion department. For years, plus size fashion was equated with mumus and frumpy clothing to cover larger bodies like bags rather than tailored with style. Since the 1920’s the plus size customer has often shopped in specialty stores since department stores either excluded or only offered limited options like dresses and coats. However, in the age of the internet, consumers are demanding more and looking to their favorite celebs and influencers for guidance beyond the rack.
Loni Love has been working for the past couple of years as the host of the annual Finding Ashley Stewart Awards Show held in Kings Theater. However, she aligned even more with the brand this year with a holiday collection that has something for every type of woman, “Ashley Stewart’s commitment to inspiring all women and especially African American women a company that invests in my sisters is a brand I want to partner with.” Ashley Stewart’s Finding Ashley Stewart contest goes around the United States visiting their stores, looking for their next “Ashley” or brand ambassador for the year. This has allowed the company to connect with their customers, consumers, an employees on an intimate and in person level. In addition, they provide scholarships and give out awards at the show, uplifting their communities. Love shared, “As an HBCU grad the work they do to provide scholarships to young women is so very needed and close to my heart.” You can see her excitement and energy on stage when she’s hosting the awards show. This is her first fashion collaboration with a brand.
The company itself is equally enamored with the star of their latest partnership. James Rhee, CEO of Ashley Stewart tells Hello Beautiful, “Loni Love has been a great friend and ally in our mission for years. Partnering with her on this holiday collection and her first ever fashion curated partnership was a natural progression of our friendship and we couldn’t be happier to share her collection with the Ashley family.” The collection includes a floral organza set, a blush suede suit, sweater dresses in bold colors, joggers dressed up with sequins and more.
Love shared, “I love the black sequined dress ($38.70, ashleystewart.com). It’s comfortable, sexy and festive, just right for a New Year’s Eve party.” At the E! People’s Choice Awards, Love donned a rose gold sequin dress and while it’s not the same as she donned on the red carpet, plus size women can still get in on the trend. In fact, Love tributes Ashley Stewart for facilitating red carpet appearances for plus size women, “It’s no longer hard to find items for the red carpet. We now have new materials and patterns designed for us ‘full figured’ women!”
Indeed, plus size celebrities seem to get the short end of the stick when it comes to designing. In fact, one can’t forget in 2017 when Leslie Jones lamented on Twitter of having no high end designers wanting to dress her tall, size 14 frame before Christian Siriano came to her rescue. When we think of a style icon, Rihanna or Michelle Obama may come to mind; however, who in the fuller figured frame holds this title? “There are no real plus size icons for me,” Love states. Undoubtedly, it’s hard to play more creatively with clothing when it’s not offered in your size, the lack of options can be contributing to this; however, designers and brands are starting to expand sizing slowly and some designers even look to speciality store for solid partnerships to begin understanding the customer.
The collection is available in sizes 10-30 with prices up to $69.50. Hurry and shop now as there is a 40% off new arrivals sale. Keep on clicking to check out our favorite pieces and looks in the collection.