Monday, June 24, 2013

FFFWEEK 2013 RECAP

Hello Dolls,
Today I returned from my trip to New York for Full Figured Fashion Week 2013. This is my second year attending and I only committed to two events, the "Bloomingdale's" Fashion Show and the "Indie" Fashion Show. I also attended an event sponsored by Torrid that was not affiliated with fffweek. Unfortunately, my camera was not taking good photos so I don't have many to share. 

TORRID EVENT
This is what I wore to the event. Top by Rue 107, skirt by Cristina Ehrlich for QVC.
Hosted by Jessica Kane and held in a cute little studio, we were welcomed with open arms. Surrounded by racks of fabulous new clothing by Torrid, we were encouraged to try on and give opinions of anything we desired. I chose to try on a pair of jeggings and a pair of skinny jeans and loved the fit of both! Servers walked the room with trays of yummy little finger foods and complimentary sangria's were at the bar! 

The staff of Torrid displayed nothing but gratitude for all of our feedback and proved that they actually listen to it by modifying a couple of pieces based on our opinions. Torrid is a wonderful brand and I highly encourage you to try it! They are coming out with new bras! ;-)

The highlight of the event for me was finally meeting Gabifresh! I must say that she is not at all what I expected her to be in that she seemed a bit shy and secluded, but she's so pretty and such a sweetheart! Her smile will just melt your heart! This is the only picture I got of us and I hate my facial expression! lol
You can see more pics from Torrid event here.

BLOOMINGDALE'S FASHION SHOW
First off, getting to this event was INSANE! It was scheduled to start at 5:30 and getting a cab during rush hour traffic was basically impossible! After trying to get a cab for what seemed like eternity, we set out to walk. Finally, after about a mile of walking a cab was kind enough to stop and give us a lift. At this point I was so hot, sweaty and irritated. 

When we arrived at around 5:15, the line was already completely wrapped around the corner. This was proof that it was a very good turn out, but the problem was there were only about 40 seats for approx. 200 people in attendance! Those of us that weren't fortunate enough to get a seat began filling in spots to stand around the runway. This was very uncomfortable because the store still had the areas surrounding the runway full of clothes and display mannequins. A couple mannequins actually fell over because it got so crowded where I was standing.

We stood and stood and stood and still the show did not begin. It was extremely hot and I was growing more and more irritated! The show finally began at around 7pm!! The models were beautiful but the fashion on the runway was not at all what I expected. I shop Bloomingdale's. I love their plus selection, -in my opinion-, it's one of the best plus selections out there. There are so many options but what was chosen for the runway was less than impressive. I honestly feel that some of the bloggers in attendance could have walked the runway in what they came in and put on a better show fashion wise. 

One of my favorite designer's is Ralph Lauren and this is what was chosen from his line to walk the runway....
We gotta do BETTER!
INDIE FASHION SHOW
I wore this stunning Tiger Lily skirt custom made for me by Charming by Jessica Dee. Love it!
Once again we stood in line. I just don't understand why they can't start receiving attendees as they come. Check the name off the list and let us go find a seat....PLEASE! It is too hot to be standing outside. I must admit that the wait was much shorter than last year. This is my favorite event of fffweek! I just love fashion so much and new designers are so exciting. My fave designers this year were Amiiee by Dunja Messer-Jourdain and Designer of the Year, Rue 114! Click the links to view the collections.

If I had to give my honest opinion, I would say that there is not enough fashion at fffweek. I would love to see more fashion shows! Also, there are too many blogger cliques for me and some folks just don't talk to you at all. This is my second year attending fffweek and I think it may be my last. :-( My experience both times were just not what I expect fashion week to be like. I guess I compare it to straight size fashion week and it's just not the same. We have to step up our game in order for the fashion industry to take us seriously! I also heard that other events were late starting. We gotta get better organized.

I want to close this post by saying that we plus bloggers need to stick together. There are some more successful than others in terms of collaborations with retailers/designers/paid endorsements, etc. but at the end of the day we are all still plus size bloggers who want to make a difference in the fashion game. We need to support one another and stop competing with one another. Be happy when another plus blogger gets an opportunity because it opens the door for our community to grow. Stop throwing shade. Stop back-biting and stop hating!! To those of you that have a large following, you are NOT a celebrity so stop acting like a stuck up diva! Some of you were just out right rude! I honestly fell that some of you have lost sight of why you started blogging to begin with and now it's all about what you can/are getting. You don't love fashion. You use it! I'm so sick of it! That's all.

Kiah

**Added Comment**

Just wanted to add a comment to this post....

I'm in no way, shape, or form trying to disrespect anyone. I actually ran into Gwen DeVoe (CEO of the event) at the Indie Show and she shook my hand and was very very kind to me. I'm so happy that someone saw a need in the plus community and stepped up to the plate. I'm sure it takes a LOT of work to organize such an event which is why I've supported it for 2 years.

Having said that, I fell that as an attendee, who paid for a ticket just like the next girl, that I'm entitled to my opinion about the events that I personally attended. I feel that all feedback, good or bad, should be used to do better and I'm not just giving an opinion without the offer of help. I would LOVE to help on the fashion side in any way that I can. I'm sure a lot of other bloggers would too!

My comments about cliques and rudeness were on a personal level and have nothing to do with fffweek. These are individuals who choose to act this way.

A few of the comments I've received have been wonderful and insightful. One comment said that the more "seasoned" bloggers should be leading by example. Walk the room, mingle with the newbies. Could you imagine how overwhelmed they must feel being around a blogger that could have been the inspiration behind them starting their own blogs?! Another comment said that when we join forces we contribute to the community as a whole. This comment seriously had me thinking. Thinking about all us bloggers out there that would love the opportunity to work with brands. Have any of you that have gotten those opportunities ever mentioned adding other bloggers to the work?

We have to do better with fashion. It's bad enough that the fashion industry provides limited options for us. It makes me think that we're a joke to them. We have to take the limited fashion options and WERK the heck out of them so that we can get more! I see so many things in the straight section that can easily be made in plus size too. It really ticks me off!

We must prove that we have just as much fashion sense as the straight size community. Fashion has no size. If you've got it, you've got it! We have to step up our fashion game....we just have to!
 

38 comments:

Style Chic 360 said...

Oh my gosh, Kiah, I love you from the bottom of my heart and wish we could have had some time to really talk. By this my first year at fffweek, I was throughly disappointed in the lack of fashion! The mere fact that shows lacked fashion, started late, did not include bloggers was an extreme disappointment and extremely unprofessional!

I love fashion and I was so disappointed that I did not have the opportunity to see any of the shows, that RL outfit from the Bloomingdale's show was so disappointing that I just could not stay to see anymore! That was something I would put my 3 year old son in, if I had one!

The clicks, oh my gosh you are so right! Everything was just, well...very disappointing. I'm trying to figure out if I will attend in the future or not, but I doubt it. Nothing about FFFWeek, was fun hip or fresh! I got stares from having changed my clothes the day of the Bloomingdales event. You are so right, we have got to do better!!! I'm in the process of writing my write ups and man I'm just not used to writing such bad reviews. :(

Fredetta said...

Kiah I loveee both of your looks! That striped skirt is beautiful :)

fatgirlslikeniceclothestoo said...

I'm not happy. I wasn't there but I purposely logged in today to read about how great the event was but I've not read a single glowing review. The lack of fashion is one thing- but blogger attitude? Thats the worst. I can't understand it. I know I started my own blog because I love fashion and wanted to help other plus size women to find great clothes. Blogging is nothing without a community spirit. You hit the nail on the head- ppl need to stop with the diva-tude and remember why they started blogging in the first place. Geez.

Kellie B. said...

Girl! Well I'm super glad you did come and that I finally got to meet your sweet smiling face :) xoxoxox Kellie B.

Amarachi U. said...

Kiah!

Thank you for posting! you look great as always!

I've read a lot of complaints about the fashions in FFFweek. It just shows Plus size fashion still has a long way to go.

and for the attitudes.. I can totally believe it! But just like in any other community there will be a few bad apples but it seems like more and more are popping up. I agree when you said people need to reflect back and remember why they started blogging in the first place!

Ans as for the clicks I've been seeing so many pop up its crazy. But you have to understand why clicks are formed. for some people clicks are like a "Safe Circle" but it can be very damaging to a community. People tend to stay with their groups and not venture off and meet new people. One of perks with blogging in the plus size community is meeting different people with the same interest.

Zara Willis said...

Tell 'em sis! Your blog is the best!

Margaret-Rose said...

Oh nooooooo as a future hopeful goer to FFFweek, this makes me sad that so far at least two of my absolute favourite bloggers weren't happy with The goings on, as a new blogger I can only imagine how intimidating it probably is to go in the first place but to get there and realise that there could be bloggers with Divatude out there is very disheartening, the reason I started my own blog was because I was so inspired by a lot of plus size bloggers, all over the world, I can count on one hand the amount of plus size bloggers here in NZ, so I really am an avid reader o fatshion blogs these days.

Sacramento Amate said...

Wonderful always Kiah.
I miss your post, knowledge and inspiration.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Style4Curves said...

OMGGGGGGGGGGGG KHIA thank you so very much for posting. I've been feeling like a bad blogger for not attending but honestly from some of the fashion photos and pics from events that I've seen it really doesn't seem like anything I'd be interested in attending. I HATE cliques so I know if I were to attend I would most definitely not be apart of that foolery. I wanted to just come and see amazing plus size fashion and meet fellow bloggers but based on your honest review this event is pretty much what I expected it to be and the reason I won't put it on my bucketlist anytime soon smh.

Whitney James said...

Well, let me just start by saying you look great. I love that crop top! I also appreciate your honesty. Wow...it's sad that some bloggers feel the need to act high and mighty. I've experienced some of that myself and it's so unfortunate. I'm glad to see you speak your mind about this. To be honest, it's helped me make up my mind about attending next year.

~Whitney
www.whitneynicjames.com

☯ZERO STYLE☯ said...

Hey Kiah! I just wanted to show you my support and tell you that I have had very similar experiences to yours. Even though I live in the Midwest, I still somehow end up attending a couple blogger events in NYC every year. There does seem to be a contingent of quite unfriendly bloggers, though I'm sure that's not exclusive to NYC. At an event earlier this year, a couple of people literally turned their noses up at me when I said I was from Ohio, even though I was one of the guests of honor. It was really disappointing, but I didn't get discouraged. I ended up running into a couple of those people at a pre-FFFW event recently and they could not have been nicer to me. It was really weird and came off as disingenuous. I guess you just have to remember that the good outweigh the bad in this case!

ontheqtrain said...

You are right!! I have never seen so many women act like divas!!

Girl I felt the same way too!! These women has allowed the hype to build up their egos. You are not a celebrity no one offline knows who you are. Be humble and show everyone love. I was not feeling the attitudes nor fashion week =/

ontheqtrain said...

In addition, I wish I would've spoken to you more but I was overall threw and disappointed from the bloomingdales show!!

Falala Mele said...

HIIIIII KIAH! Tell them how it is!!! Fashion was boring people were mean but you were FABULOUS and so refreshing *HI FIVE* xoxox

FabEllis | Beauty, Fashion + Natural Hair said...

I definitely appreciate you keeping it real Kiah. As someone who has never been but was thinking about attending, this was a little disheartening to read. Unfortunately, I'm not surprised by the cliques because I've seen it happen even in the smaller area that I'm in. It's unfortunate and makes me wonder why we can't lift up others. SMH!

Mika's Thought's... said...

I've been to a few plus-size blogger events in the past and I have the same sentiments you described in this post. I am not even an insider in that world and I always felt this way at events. On top of that they were never up to par. So I just decided I am not attending them again and to be quite frank (even as a plus-size girl/lover of fashion)I am not a crusader for plus-size fashion.

Ticka said...

Wow! This was really eye opening. Looking at you and Chastity's pics over that week, I thought I would have loved to be there and meet you guys. And even though the fashions left you unsatisfied, please know that you WERKED your outfits (which I'm sure you already know).

As far as the cliques are concerned, it happens online as well. You can tell who they are & I would expect nothing more from those individuals in person. Sad, but true. Keep on being the sweet supportive person that you are.

KurvayshusB said...

KIAH!
First and foremost, It was such a pleasure actually meeting you this year at the Torrid event.
You are a total doll!
I have a couple of cute pics that I took of you that I can send if needed! :)

In regards to the events, You know I am right *here* with you on the Bloomingdales snafu. It was disorganized and I don't think as attendees we were given a fair experience.

Overall, my experience with other bloggers was more positive than last year. I feel like I got to meet some great women and I hope that overall we all continue to spread positivity amongst this community. There were a couple bad seeds but I refuse to let them spoil how I feel about the bunch.

SIDE NOTE: Your outfits were adorable and I want to steal your skirts. Tis all lol

Much love,

Lauren

www.KurvayshusB.com

Blog to be Alive said...

I will say it again but I just love your outfit with the Rue 107 top!

I am sorry you ran into some rude people. I haven't been to FFFWeek yet because it's quite a trip (and budget) from Belgium, but I was thinking of attending next year.

I did a few bloggers meetup in London and everyone was really nice. Maybe because in Europe we seem to be less in "competition" with one another so to speak.

Georgette Niles said...

I applaud you for speaking your mind! I wont let "cliques" or bad attitudes stop me from supporting plus size fashion. Its not about them, its about us having access to fashionable, well made clothing. We dont have to link arms and sing "Kumbaya" but lets be decent & respect one another.

I so agree with you that we must do better. I was shocked at the Bloomies show because last year it was NOTHING like this!

Although I only briefly met you while standing in line at Bloomies, it was such a pleasure to finally meet you and I look forward to seeing you again!

Savannah said...

Great post, Kiah. If everyone stuck together and ended the clique-y attitudes then a lot more would get done.
xxx

Jenny Moyett said...

Hi Kiah! I love your honesty and I applaud you for speaking your mind. This was my first year attending FFFWeek and I definitely saw and felt the cliques. I totally agree with you that we should be more supportive of each other rather than make each other uncomfortable or feel out of place. But I won't let the cliques spoil the experience for me either.

The Bloomies event was a total disaster. I really hope they can get it together for next year.

XO,
Jenny

Licia said...

I love both looks, but I absolutely love your the custom made skirt it is gorgeous!!! It is however such a disappointment that FFFWeek is not what it seems!!! Definitely makes me not want to attend.

An Cus said...

Kiah, honestly you and Chasity are the very best! I love the level of true feedback you both have given about the fashion and the mingling or lack thereof! I showed up to the Bloomingdale's Fashion Show and I promise I was disgusted by the lack of friendliness from the insta-celebs and many of the people there. It's very unfortunate that as a new blogger this was my first real experience and all I have to look too. I think I expected more humility from those in attendance or at least expected for people to be cordial and say hello. I promise I spoke to one person and they looked at me as if to say, "Do I know you?" Clearly you don't have to know people to speak. Seeing as though this particular blogger and I live perhaps less than 30 miles from one another, I was kind of shocked and very disappointed. I had heard so much about how nice and sweet the blogger was, but I think it was the group they had associated with during the event. However, Gwen DeVoe’s staff represented her very well. They were friendly, helpful, and really nice. My girlfriend’s and I were some of the first few people to arrive at the show and the staff rerouted us so they could set up. As soon as we moved, they began forming a line and we ended up at the back. Then the staff began to seat the fashion front and “other important persons”. I was a little more on the timid side especially seeing as though it was a free event, but my good friend said something to one of the staff members and they got us seats up front right away. Any who, I did see you in passing, but the event was so crowded that I didn't get to say hi! So here goes! Hello hun! You looked beautiful at the event and I hope to get to meet you in the future. :-)

Marie Denee said...

Girl... I hear you on the cliques... I had not seen this before and really tried to get out and say hey girl hey... thank you for sharing and sooo happy that I found you on the show day! I saw you in the corner way far away, but am happy to have seen you and give hugs!

:D Sending you love and thank you for sharing! XOXOX

Chichi O said...

I was in attendance AND UNFORTUNATELY i didn't meet u we left after the ralph Lauren debacle, as far as the cliques i am not surprised when ever their are women there will always be cliques, and it the case of fffweek it was based on ur following not only were some people outride rude and condescending i also felt passed over by some professionals and thats not to talk of all the sucking up i saw. In defense i will say that some folks are quiet because they are socially awkward like myself for example for some folks its easy to socialise and for others its hard. the only highlight to this week for me was meeting fellow bloggers i really think their should be an event just for bloggers not just when brands set it up. thats my 2 cents.

Style & Poise said...

You look os fab in that orange striped skirt paired with the blue top! Lovely ensemble!

Roni
www.styleandpoise.blogspot.com

SheaDionne said...

Reeeeezzzzzz!!! I saw you at the Bloomingdale's event but you didn't see me:). I agree with everything that you said! We do have to do better and it's a shame that cliques even exist!I experience the same thing here in Texas as a new Plus Model. All we can do is hope that next year will have major improvements. Although I don't know if I'll be there next year!

Vivi N. said...

And here I was just telling Whitney the other day that we should plan for next year's event. Womp womp. lolol. It's a shame that folks are getting too big for their britches. Like, because you have so and so followers on whichever social media network you wanna start feeling yourself? Cute. I don't pay people like that any mind. In fact, I usually sense people like that and just ignore them. Stuff like this happens here, too, within the DC area. Plus size, straight size, beauty bloggers...same shit. It's a shame, really. As long as you know yourself and know your true intent when meeting new bloggers, that's all that matters.

Love all your outfits! I hope we get to meet again soon. *fingers crossed*

GFS said...

This isn't just limited to plus sized events. I've had the same experience at other blogger events. I think part of the disappointment comes from the fact that we are friends in our heads to these bloggers and are disappointed when they are not as "accessible" in real life. ( that's me giving the benefit of the doubt.)

I've met a blogger before at a conference and was all excited and was shocked that she barely made eye contact. I had to realize that people "on paper" might not be as open in real life.

Now, that I've said that. I've met some messy a$$ people too. One blogger in Dallas whom I've never met bad mouths me to strangers and I've never met her! Blogging can cause people to be "cliquish" . These events sometimes are a disappointment when they don't welcome or acknowledge their audience. In other words... "People need to get their life."

And don't even get me started on how social media makes everyone "overappreciate" themselves. Instagram has made every body feel like they have paparazzi following them and they feed off that energy when they meet someone who recognizes them. (Can you tell I was a psychology minor in college?!? Lol)

Lol. PS ... I WILL meet you one day:)

Divamazon said...

Thank you for being so honest in your review of FFF week. It's such a shame that a community that's excluded at times chooses to exclude from within. Everyone doesn't have to be best friends but respect in the struggle (couldn't think of a better word) should be given.

On a side note...So happy to have met you (as brief as it was). God works in mysterious ways all the time! I'd read on instagram that you and Garnerstyle would be at the H&M on 34th street if anyone wanted to join (I sure did!) but I had my beautiful goddaughters so it was a no-go. It was SUCH a pleasant surprise when who else but you, Ms. Rez to the City, walked up to me for directions! You are just as beautiful in person!

xo
Tiffany

p.s. Thank you for wearing polka dots that day. I'd just spent a half hour convincing my 6-year old goddaughter that her graduation dress was not to "polkadotty" and after we left you she told me she loved your outfit.

Jennifer Jacobsson said...

Omg, Kiah! I was so excited to see you at the torrid event! Sad that we couldn't talk more, but hopefully we'll meet again! ;)and I applaud your honesty! The bloomingdales show was a buzz kill. I was stuck on front row not being able to get up and leave. at the end EVERYONE WAS GONE! It needs to be better organized! Overall the FFFWEEK for me was overwhelming, first time attending all the events. and afterwards even though I attended it all, I still missed people whom blogs I follow/care about that I didn't even know were there. I still missed out.
Clicks, yes...high school all over again, nightmare. the "blogger fame" goes to peoples heads. I saw it during fffweek and is was really bothering me.

XOXO

Buttercup Rocks said...

I think this is my first time commenting here, Kiah, but I'm a long time lurker and absolutely love your style.

What an epic downer! We had our first Plus Size Fashion Weekend here in London this year and it was pretty badly organised overall. It had its moments, (mine was meeting Kelly B from Fatshion Insider, who was really lovely), but the whole time I was thinking, "I bet FFFW is a hundred times better than this", so it's sad to hear to the contrary, especially as the event has been going for several years.

Guyanesesista said...

Hi Kiah it was so awesome meeting you at the Bloomingdale's show. I did think the bermuda shorts were odd but I liked the rest of the show I saw. That's probably because it was my first time there and I was so darn excited. Also starting late was no bueno. It started the time it was supposed to end. :-/

Stephanie said...

After my first FFFWeek (2009), I felt the same way but I've continued to go every year since. I understand how it can seem a bit clique-ish. You have some people who know each other more than others and because our blogging life comes to life from behind a computer screen, we're a little hesitant to speak to each other. For me, I'm never sure if the person is who I think it is or I may not know what to say.

I'll admit that I don't always speak to people because I don't know if they'll know me or if they even want to be bothered but that's a chance that I probably should take.

I tell people all of the time that I'm not a fashion girl. I know what I like and don't like but I don't consider myself a fashion blogger. The plus size industry isn't in a place where the fashion you see on the runway is seasons ahead anyway so it's all accessible on the web.

With that being said, I don't attend FFFWeek for the fashion, I attend it for the camaraderie. Even if I see a handful of my curvy girlfriends, that's more than I see at home. Unless you live in New York or LA, FFFWeek is our only chance to connect with women like us and for me that's the experience that I'm after.

I would never encourage you to lower your expectations but I would say be honest in those expectations and the only thing any of us can do is to make the best of the situation.

I'm a relatively new reader of your blog and I hope you attend next year because I would love to meet you. After reading some of the comments, I now know that I have to be willing to say the first hello at times too, even when I'm feeling a little shy.

Kristal Johnson said...

The fashion for 2012 was great but the little things such as under garments showing and clothing that may not have been appropriate for some models threw me for a loop. I am all about plus size acceptance but I want to make sure that the best is presented on the runway. When you talked about the timing of the events, I too was slightly irritated. Having the events during the most trafficked time in the city is insane. I missed the Bloomingdales event because it took me the whole time to find a cab. Overall FFFWeek 2012 opened my eyes. The organization did a awesome job and I am forever grateful for what they have done and continue to do. My only issue that I encountered (which is not a representation of FFFWeek) was the feeling of entitlement from some clicks particularly the bloggers group. I know the difference of being confident and that is not what I observed. If I attend again I will put the negative behind me and approach that year with a clear head. Since leaving the 2012 fashion show I second guessed my place in the plus size world but to read your blog was refreshing, I am glad I am not alone in my thoughts.

Ivory said...

I"m late chiming in on this, but better late than never right? LOL. i completely agree about the lack of fashion; i attended the indie show last year and was extremely impressed. this year? not so much...in fact, i was pretty underwhelmed. i believe i expressed my disgust about the bloomingdales event; that was a complete disaster. i've never seen anything like that and hope it doesn't happy again. i personally didn't experience any cliques this year (come to think of it, i didn't last year either). i did come across some people who were a bit rude and off-putting, but i brushed them off. i was thrilled to finally meet a lot of the bloggers i've been following and chatting with online. i highly doubt fffweek will see me again (unless they return to LA), but i wouldn't discourage a person who's never never been from going. everyone's experiences are different. btw: i'm SUPER jealous you got to meet alissa! i've been wanting to meet her and just kept missing the chance.

REBEQUITA ROSE - (XL Fashion Blogger) said...

A huge round of applause and renew love and respect to you, Kiah!!! I have never been to fffweek, but there are some bloggers who just by looking at their blogs you can sense that they think they are better than everyone else just because they have a blog and it's been successful, but you are right! bloggers are not celebrities no matter how succesful their blog is!!! A plus-size blog in particular should ALWAYS be about helping others, and promoting positive body-image in EVERYONE!!! Love you so much girl! GOD BLESS YOU ALWAYS! AMEN!

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