Curves, Cats, and Creams

Meet Devine, The Godfather of Curves!

For blog Devine from Curve Nation

I am so excited that I finally got to interview Devine. AKA the Godfather of Curve Nation, LLC, an Orlando, Florida, nightclub that is rapidly becoming a watering hole for the BBW (Big, Beautiful Women) community. He is also the very first man I’ve interviewed for Curves, Cats, and Creams, so read on to hear how the other curvy half lives.

 

1. Question: Why did you choose to found Curve Nation, LLC?

Answer: I noticed a gaping hole in the market for a classy venue for plus-size patrons. Most BBW clubs in Florida are overly sexual and we deserve a true red carpet experience.

 

2. Question: What were some of the challenges you faced when launching Curve Nation, LLC?

Answer: The other clubs that had been in business for awhile became jealous; I was trash talked because I brought awareness to the situation. They felt their businesses would be threatened by the addition of another club that provided something new and exciting.

 

3. Question: Who was your biggest supporter?

Answer: Gwen DeVoe, the founder of Full Figured Fashion Week, also known as the “Curve Nation Godmother”. She has really shown us love and support by using her connections in the industry to bring awareness to our cause.

 

4. Question: How is a typical night out at Curve Nation, LLC different than one at a normal BBW club?

Answer: The atmosphere is so much more welcoming and professional. For example, our employees are all in uniform and at your service. The focus is on helping people get to know each other and mingle; it’s definitely not a cliquey environment like most BBW clubs in Florida.

 

5. Question: How do you feel your past at Konnect Media has benefited Curve Nation, LLC?

Answer: The network of connections that I built at Konnect Media has really helped me launch Curve Nation LLC and reach the right customer base for what we’re trying to accomplish.

 

6. Question: What is your favorite event Curve Nation, LLC has produced so far and why?

Answer: Definitely my “Red Carpet Affair” event this past January 25th. Having such a high class event really differentiated Curve Nation, LLC from the sleazy BBW clubs and reinforced the idea that we are legitimate, professional, and classy.

 

7. Question: Do you feel that being a man has helped you in a field that is largely targeted to women? Why or why not?

Answer: No, because I’m usually not taken seriously. Thankfully, my go-getter personality and true belief in what I’m trying to accomplish helps me overcome that.

 

8. Question: Why do you think the plus size industry focuses on women and not men? 

Answer: Men are usually less self-conscious and don’t pay as much attention to detail as women. We don’t have as many options, so it’s easier.  It’s not fair, but society lets us get away with more.  Women have more options with hair, makeup, and clothing, and feel more pressure to be more conscious of their appearances.  I don’t fit this mold because I love to shop, but most men I know don’t love to shop.  Many of them have their wives or girlfriends shop for them.

 

9. Question: Do you think that men will be more active in the fashion industry in the future? Why or why not?

Answer: I think once men understand and feel more comfortable in the fashion industry, they’ll get more vocal about what they want to be wearing and designers and retailers will have to listen if they want to stay competitive.

 

10. Question: Who is your personal favorite designer and why? 

Answer: Steve Harvey, because I love his suits. I’m also excited to see Shaq’s new line!

 

11. Question: Who has been the biggest influence on your own personal style?

Answer: Believe it or not, my mom! She was such a fashionista and made clothes for both herself and me if we’d go shopping and couldn’t find anything we liked. People were always asking me where I got my clothes and, thanks to her, I even won “Best Dressed” in high school!

 

12. Question: As a graduate of Brown University in Rhode Island, you’re familiar with the New England market, so do you think Curve Nation, LLC would be successful here? Why or why not?

Answer: Absolutely, because up north, they tend to support local businesses more. Florida’s cliquish, and it seems that curves are only acceptable in certain circles, like in the hi-hop community, and not in others, such as in the “old money” or prominent communities, where size 2 is “fat”!

 

13. Question:  Why do you think that most plus size models are non-Caucasian? 

Answer: In black and Hispanic communities, curves have always been a normal part of life.  We have mothers and sisters with hips and asses, and it’s beautiful.  I remember my Caucasian  friends growing up believing they had to be thin to be beautiful.  This is changing, but the size acceptance revolution is fairly new to most people.

 

14. What would you say to the critics who claim that encouraging people to accept themselves as they are will lead to an increase in the obesity epidemic? 

Answer: There’s a plus and a minus to that because there is a way to be thick and healthy at the same time. Being BBW doesn’t give you an out to being unhealthy. For example, I used to own a gym and I made sure my patrons focused on being healthy, not necessarily on losing weight.

 

15. Question: What are your hopes for the First Annual Plus Size Expo this July?

Answer: To bring more awareness to Curve Nation, LLC. It’s going to be a lot different than the “bashes” that most clubs have, which focus mainly on sex and alcohol. I’m especially excited that Rosie Mercado, the star of Nuvo TV’s Curvy Girls, will be there to encourage women to embrace their curves and even help aspiring plus size models learn the ropes of the industry.

 

16. Question: What are your plans for both Curve Nation, LLC and yourself for 2014?

Answer: We’ll be opening Curve Nation 2 in Texas later this year, and we’re releasing the first collection of the Curve Nation, LLC clothing line in August/September, a stylish yet easy collection of true plus sizes, not junior plus sizes, keeping in mind the everyday plus-size woman. With an affordable price point of $20 – $80, it will initially be carried online, but we are in talks with several boutiques that cater to full-figured women.

For myself, I hope to be more prosperous and to continue coming up with more business ideas that will help bring awareness to the BBW community.

 

17. Question: What are your hopes for the curvy fashion industry in 2014?

Answer: I hope that there will be a lot more custom-made curvy clothing, since there’s no such thing as a set shape in the BBW community. I also hope that prices will become more competitive, since I think it’s ridiculous for women to pay more for clothing simply because they’re in a larger size.

 

Devine, CEO/Founder

Curve Nation, LLC

Website: http://www.clubcurvenation.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clubcurvenation

Twitter: https://twitter.com/curve_nationbbw

Instagram: http://instagram.com/_clubcurvenation

 

 

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Are Boring Suits Making You Yawn? Wake up Your Career With Eloquii’s “Work Wear With a Twist”!

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Working women in the 80’s were truly pioneers in feminism, fighting tirelessly to be seen as equal to their male counterparts in the workplace. In their efforts to prove themselves, many women chose to abandon their skirts and dresses and instead adopt the manly “power suits” in order to be taken seriously in a corporate environment. Unfortunately, while power suits may have helped us win the fight for equality, they definitely lost the fight for fashion.

Thanks to these brave women, we are now usually seen as equals and no longer have to fear sacrificing our professionalism in order to flaunt our favorite styles. This was really brought home to me when I saw Eloquii’s “Work Wear With a Twist” collection, which combines the strength and structure of traditional work wear with the softness of feminine colors and fabrics.

Outfits such as this one, “Stripes and lace top” with “Seamed pencil skirt”, marry strong vertical stripes with delicate lace and a bold yet feminine hot pink color, giving us the confidence to walk proudly into the office of any Fortune 500 company’s CEO and demand the raise we’ve earned!

While I am so incredibly grateful to our mothers, aunts, etc, who endured ridicule, lower wages, and harassment in order to strengthen future generations’ chances of a better life, I am also very thankful that women are no longer forced to surrender our femininity and desire for beauty in the quest for equality.

 

Question of the day: Do you think that women have truly become equal to men in the workplace or do you think that the fight is still ongoing?

 

http://www.eloquii.com/work

https://www.facebook.com/eloquii

https://twitter.com/eloquii2

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Curves are Coming Together This Summer at the First Ever Curve Nation Plus Size Community Expo!

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Those of you who know me are well aware that I have always been an animal lover. When I was about 12, I dragged my very patient and indulgent mother to Mecca, AKA a 2-day Pet Expo at the Rhode Island Convention Center. Surrounded by every kind of cat, dog, bird, snake, and fish, I was truly in Heaven.

And now I can relive that elation all over again, only this time with a curvy twist! For three entire days, July 11th, 12th, and 13th of this year, Club Curve Nation, an upscale Florida nightclub that caters exclusively to the BBW (big, beautiful women) community and their supporters, is hosting the First Annual Plus Size Expo. Three days of pool parties, fashion shows, sex and dating seminars, beauty and modeling classes and, of course, shopping, will bring the curvy community closer together than ever before.

Best of all, this curvy getaway will be hosted by Miss Rosie Mercado, the star of Nuvo TV’s Curvy Girls, whose flawless curves inspire women everywhere to embrace who they are. You might even get to meet her and unlock the secrets to her success as a curvy model and actress!

If you’re as excited as I am, book your tickets to this curvy convention by clicking on the link below. $150 will give you and your curves access to all Expo events, the welcome reception, admission to the “Curves in Paradise” party, hot breakfasts on Saturday and Sunday, lunch on Saturday, the farewell barbecue, and, of course, a huge swag bag loaded with goodies from the Expo’s sponsors.

If you want to take the party back to your hotel room, Club Curve Nation has partnered with the International Palms Resort in Orlando, Florida to offer Expo guests a special room rate; $100 per night plus a $7.50 per night resort fee. To take advantage of this offer, click on the link below.

By standing together, we can tell designers, advertisers, stores, and the next generation of curves that we are a nation of curves and damn proud of it!

 

http://www.clubcurvenation.com/#!registration/c1u08

https://www.mynuvotv.com/show/about?name=curvygirls&season=1#.Uyj9dPldWSo

https://bookings.ihotelier.com/International-Palms-Resort-Orlando/bookings.jsp?groupID=1179382&hotelID=77384

 

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Clothing Calling Cards Show Businesses the Power of the Curvy Purse!

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Like many of you, I’m just slightly obsessed with the TV show Downton Abbey. I immerse myself in the gorgeous dresses, the old-fashioned courting rituals, and the social etiquette of the early 20th century, and I can almost forget the injustices women had to endure during that time.

I especially love the idea of “calling cards”, small cards bearing a visitor’s name, picture, and often their family crest, left behind at a person’s home as a sign that a visit from them would be welcome in the visitor’s own home.

Now calling cards are making a comeback with a 21st century twist. Nicole Skews, a 27-year-old woman in New Zealand, was inspired when a friend was complaining about how she can never find cute curvy clothes at brick-and-mortar stores. “She was like, ‘I’m young, I have a full-time job, I’m financially irresponsible. It shouldn’t be this hard for me to buy clothes!'” Another friend was quick to agree, adding that she would love to leave notes around the store to show them exactly how much money they’re losing from her simply by not carrying her size.

With those simple statements, The Clothes Calling Card Campaign was born. Shoppers who are fed up with stores who ignore their sizes, at both ends of the spectrum (larger and smaller), can order their own customized printed cards, costing $3 for a 5 pack or $5 for a 10-pack. Best of all, 100% of the profits go directly to Dress for Success New Zealand, a nonprofit organization which provides career clothing and styling advice to women entering the workforce or changing careers who would otherwise not be able to afford them.

If you’re just too excited to wait for your cards to arrive in the mail, you can also download free calling cards at the link below and start telling stores right now how much money they’re losing by excluding you as a customer.

Whichever way you choose, make sure to mind your manners! Nicole cautions us, “The calling card is a positive thing. It’s saying, ‘Hey, I like you. I like your clothes, and I would have spent X amount of money here, but I can’t fit into them!’ — not, “Screw you for not stocking my size!”

Personally, I can’t wait to channel my inner Dowager Countess by leaving calling cards all over Boston. Even though I don’t have a lot of money, every dollar makes a difference to a business when they realize they’re losing money, and clothing calling cards are a great way for stores to really grasp the amount they could be making simply by carrying a wider range of sizes!

Nicole sums it up very well. “I think the ‘great success, job done’ moment would come when we see some kind of acknowledgement that translates into more stores diversifying their range. The first step would be for stores/clothes makers to go, ‘Actually, wow, this is how many people are currently alienated by having such a narrow run. Why is that?’ I want to see people asking questions about why this is the way it is.”

The first step to growth is always to question why you’re not growing, and we can help our local businesses grow exponentially simply by helping them to answer that question, so get out there and make Lady Grantham proud by doing your social duty!

http://www.clothescallingcard.com/

https://www.facebook.com/clothescard

https://twitter.com/ClothesCard

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visiting_card

http://www.dressforsuccesswgtn.org.nz/

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Take Home the Oscars! Well, at Least The Fashions!

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It’s that time again! Every year since 1929, Hollywood stars spend weeks running on treadmills, getting overpriced spa treatments, and finally being primped and plucked by their “glam squad”, all to answer the 64-million-dollar question “Who are you wearing?!” Oh, and to possibly take home an Oscar.

This year’s Academy Awards, AKA “the Oscars”, were no exception. Celebrities rocked the red carpet wearing looks from A-list designers such as Monique Lhuillier, Jimmy Choo, and Alexander McQueen. After all, nobody gives a damn if they win the Academy Award; the real accomplishment is to land on the coveted “Best Dressed” list!

And there were plenty of curves on that list, thank you very much. Especially Gabourey Sidibe who, thank God, did not have a repeat of her Golden Globes debacle. Gabourey even inspired Gwynnie Bee, the subscription-based fashion service for curvy women, to feature her magnificent magenta dress in their “Red Carpet Report: Academy Awards Style”.

It has long been a tradition for Gwynnie Bee to offer their customers every day versions of red carpet wear after each major awards show. Gabourey’s custom made Theia creation above, for example, is paired with the “Harlow lace dress” by SWAK, which is available to subscribers for a fraction of the cost of this nearly $1000 gown. Other celebs like Emma Watson and Chrissy Teigen also earned a spot on Gwynnie Bee’s list, which complemented their gorgeous gowns with numbers from Cabiria and NY Collection.

If you’ve never heard of Gwynnie Bee, crawl out from under your rock and click on the link below that will lead you to my January 5th post containing every detail of this must-have subscription service. After all, who doesn’t want to be able to say that they took home an Oscar?!

 

 

Gwynnie Bee post: https://curvescatsandcreams.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/who-needs-netflix-when-youve-got-gwynnie-bee/

SWAK Harlow lace dress: http://closet.gwynniebee.com/collections/dresses/products/swak-harlow-lace-dress

Cabiria Stefania dress: http://closet.gwynniebee.com/products/cabiria-stefania-dress

NY Collection dress: http://closet.gwynniebee.com/collections/dresses/products/ny-collection-metallic-sequin-a-line-dress

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Curves in the Curriculum? Finally!

For blog Cornell University students

As most of you know, I have done several interviews with designers, stylists, models, etc, and have asked them all the same question: why do you think so many designers do not create plus size clothes? Almost across the board, one of the main answers is that design students are simply not taught how to design for a curvier figure.

Thankfully, that has begun to change. A group of design students at Cornell University are celebrating National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (Feb 23 – March 1) by creating “Ruben’s Women”, a clothing line inspired by Peter Paul Ruben, a Baroque painter known for his sexual portrayal of curvy women, which will embrace all shapes and sizes.

Student creators Brandon Wen and Laura Zwangziger even developed their own plus size mannequins to ensure that their clothes would fit correctly since mannequins are usually designed to accommodate the inside of a piece of clothing. “That’s why a lot of clothes don’t fit anybody regardless of their size because they’re not designed for a body, they’re designed for the inside of a woven garment,” Laura said.

“Ruben’s Women” will be a collection of wearable art, more conceptual and artistic than merely functional. Brandon explains “I am more interested in making an art piece and part of it is deciding what that means for this specific niche because there’s a lack of it in plus-sized clothing.”

“Ruben’s Women” will be debuted at Cornell’s fashion show in April of 2014 and will hopefully inspire other design students and (GASP) maybe even entire schools to begin including curves in their curriculum. That would definitely be worthy of an A+!

 

http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2013/05/fashion-students-create-outfits-plus-size-women

http://www.paris-culture-guide.com/peter-paul-rubens.html

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