The First Plus-Size Fashion Show at Howard University

Tyrae’ Bell is a Senior Political Science major who has always had a passion for fashion. She is a fashion merchandising minor that was given the opportunity to do a creative project and decided that a Plus Size fashion show was the best option. During Homecoming especially, there are fashion shows that display high fashion in every sense but never has one seen Plus Size models grace the runway.

There are numerous stereotypes that full figured women always dress to hide imperfections but lately in the fashion world, designers have collaborated to make high fashion designs available for thicker women. Being a Plus Size herself, Bell felt that though thicker women have a strong presence on Howard’s campus but there was never a show dedicated to us. She states, “I was so tired to seeing Plus Size women wearing things that were out of season that I wanted the Howard community to know what thicker women have stepped up their game in the fashion world and that there are more choices where you can be comfortable and still look classy.”

Lena Jackson, Freshman International Business major, was one of the models in the show, Grandeur. She says, “The experience was absolutely wonderful, I was a little scared at first and I got to be around the girls I had so much fun. If anything I would like to see more fashion shows like this and more models and display of clothes. At least twice a year.”

The show was held in Blackburn ballroom and it had gotten off to a rocky start but eventually things smoothed out. The show was divided into various segments according to style. The first segment was the career wear, next was the spring/summer wear which included fun tops in bright colors and capri’s. The denim portion and Freak-m Dress segments displayed pieces from company Good Girlz and Ashley Stuart. The pieces were exquisite and tasteful and showed that thicker women can be just as fly as skinny women.

Joy Young, Senior, Public Relations major was also a model who shared her views on the show. ” It was a very trying experience because as students it was hard for us to coordinate our schedules so we could practice. Overall I was glad to be apart of it, I’m a senior so we never had a show for big girls, even though I’m not quite a big girl but I’m holding on to my “big girlness”.

Hopefully Ms. Bell has started a trend and will leave behind a legacy for other full figured women to continue to follow in her footsteps to transcend the notion that only skinny women can wear high fashion.