From fashion-forward bloggers to the runways of international designer shows, we’re seeing women of all shapes and sizes making their mark in the fashion world. And yet, in South Africa, plus-size fashion options are few and far between.
But all that’s about to change with the launch of SA online store spree.co.za’s latest campaign in collaboration with international plus-size brand Evans. The campaign entitled #IamMe, features real women and highlights the important message of body confidence.
GLAMOUR chats to two of the bloggers who are featured in the campaign, 26-year-old Lala Tshabalala of Plus Size Is Me and Candice Bresler (29) of A Gorgeous Life, about the significance and impact of #IamMe.How did you get involved with the Evans at Spree #IamMe campaign?
Lala: I was approached by Spree to be a part of this campaign, and saw it as the perfect opportunity to promote the body positive movement.
Candice: I’ve been on my own journey of body positivity over the past year or so and have been a fan of Spree’s since they launched three years ago, especially as they offered a great plus-size collection from the start. I think it was just one of those situations where it was meant to be, it was the perfect fit!
What were your first thoughts when you were chosen to feature in this shoot?
Lala: Wow, what an honour to be considered for such a big project! For me, it was about more than just the amazing clothing; it was also about the title of the campaign – #IamMe. What a powerful statement. It resonated with me so much because I’m at that point in my life where I’m owning my curves and celebrating them, and that’s what this is about.
Candice: I was honoured that Spree thought I could help change the perceptions of plus-size shopping, particularly online. I was a little nervous about “coming out” as a plus-size woman, so to speak, but it also helped me realise that I’m done trying to hide my size and be something I’m not. I’m a size 16, I have thighs and more than a little junk in my trunk and after almost 30 years, I’m finally OK with it.
What are your thoughts on the clothing?
Lala: The clothing is stylish but most importantly, the items fit well. You can tell the clothing was created with women’s curves in mind. It’s also super comfortable and there is a wide variety of styles to choose from.
Candice: I love the range! My favourite piece so far is the distressed boyfriend jeans – apart from being on-trend (which, in itself, can be a challenge when you aren’t a size 10), they are ridiculously comfortable and tailored for a fuller figure. There’s no gaping in the back and it’s comfortable above your hips – the perfect pair of jeans. I also love the selection of sleeveless jackets and coats, which is another big trend for us this autumn/winter.
Lala: The significance of this campaign lies in its title, #IamMe. It’s about the celebration of oneself beyond celebrating curves, it’s about different shapes and sizes of curvy bodies – I love that! Whether you are a pear or apple or have an hourglass figure, your curves deserve to be honoured. It’s time to own it!
Candice: As I mentioned before, I’m finally happy with my body. So, if I can help someone else be more OK with themselves – and, more than simply OK, to embrace and celebrate their beautiful bodies with fantastic clothes – then my job for this campaign is done.
How do you feel the campaign will impact positively on plus-size fashion in South Africa?
Lala: It will encourage the fashion industry to take the plus-size market more seriously and perhaps be more creative in the design of plus-size styles.
Candice: I think that online shopping can be intimidating at the best of times but even more so when you aren’t a “standard” size. I hope this campaign will not only introduce ladies of all sizes to the joy of online shopping – the freedom of trying on clothing in the comfort of your own home with hassle-free returns at no cost – but also show that there is a wider selection of good quality, fashionable clothing available. In traditional stores, plus-size ranges are often small and relegated to a dark corner somewhere. On Spree, there’s an entire section with hundreds of items, ready to be browsed at leisure from the comfort of your couch.
For the full Evans range at Spree, visit www.spree.co.za/evans.