The world of plus size fashion has grown by leaps and bounds over the past five years. While social media has played a great part in bringing recognition to both the need and presence of great style options for women outside the ‘straight size’ box, credit also goes to a number of game-changers who have made power moves in the fashion world.

Here are a few of the savvy sisters who have paved a way and paid their dues for US. We salute you!

Gwen DeVoe: THE Plus Size Event Coordinator and Full Figured Fashion Week Creator

The Plus Academy, Full Figured and Fabulous, Dangerous Curves- the Tour, and Project Curves. These are the events that have been created by the host with the most, Gwen DeVoe.

She is the maverick mind behind DeVoe Signature Events, a full service event production and management company, to serve as a launching pad and home base for fashion events and lifestyle events for the Plus Size community. DeVoe, herself a former plus model, is now a plus model trainer, developer, and manager. In addition to these hats, Gwen is also an advocate and supporter of plus size models on fashion runways.

One of the most talked about and recognized event under her belt is Full Figured Fashion Week, a five year old fashion week tailored exclusively for plus size fashion that has made waves across the world that takes place every June in New York City.

Chenese Lewis Hostess with the Mostest- Host of The Chenese Lewis Show

Chenese Lewis is making moves in a major way! If you were to read her bio, there is not anything that this woman has not done! Keynote speaker, expert commentator, plus size advocate, 2003 Miss Plus America, radio host, actress (see Fat Rant 3!), and executive producer! Yes, this ambassador is integral in laying the foundation for plus size fashion! To add to her success, PLUS Model Magazine deemed her “A leader in the curvy revolution!  With all that she has accomplished in such a short time period, there is no reason to question her stature.

Lewis is the creator of Hollywood NOW’s Love Your Body Day, an annual event that encourages and fosters women of all sizes to gather and celebrate with confidence.

The Chenese Lewis Show, her podcast, is an important voice in plus size fashion, providing a platform and outlet for those who are making moves within the community.

Sharon Quinn THE Runway Diva

You know her, the beautiful, six foot, shaved head, amazon, catwalk queen, and runway walker extraordinaire- Sharon Quinn. A former model from the 80s, Sharon Quinn was pivotal in the break of stereotypes of the plus size model. Most recognizable from her appearance on MoNique’s F.A.T. Chance, Sharon Quinn has rightfully become a pillar and mentor for plus size models.

Sharon Quinn fashions the website that features her advice column The Runway Diva Says, tailored to aspiring plus-sized models. On her site, she features her personal blogs, samples of her music, and a slide slow of her notable career highlights.

Susan Moses- Plus Size Stylist to the Stars turned Designer

Susan Moses is the top stylist in the plus size industry and beyond. Having worked in magazines like Shade, Figure, Mode, and many others, Moses’ portfolio is quite impressive. With a roster of celebrities like Brandy, Hillary Duff, Britney Spears, Mo’nique, Queen Latifah, Angie Stone, Wynonna Judd, Jill Scott, Angela Bassett, Ruby, Sherri Shepherd, Gabourey Sidibe, Moses’ stule game is no joke, as well the likes of Kathy Bates.

She launched her own fashion line in 2010 to rave reviews and continues to share her expertise with Canadian plus size brand, Penningtons.

Stephanie DanforthDaily Venus Divas EIC

No stranger to the community, Stephanie Danforth has been making moves within the plus size community for more than five years. She brings the digital plus size lifestyle magazine, Daily Venus Divas to the masses by giving plus size women a space to discuss fashion, dating, body image, and community issues.

Danforth also lends her passion for the community by supporting other bloggers, models, and industry leaders through her support in the Fuller Woman Expo and Full Figured Fashion Week. You can also catch her giving back to the community with her Celebrate Detroit Youth initiative. 

Cassy Jones-McBrydeInternational Fuller Woman Network Expo Creator

Cassy Jones McBryde is a quiet force within the community. Steadily lending her support and passion, she has her hands in a few projects, but most notably, the Fuller Woman Network.

The International Fuller Woman Network is comprised of women from all over the world that are committed to the mission of embracing who we are as women and creating a dialogue of acceptance and celebration. Working as a bridge between the Canadian arm of the organization and the US, Jones-McBryde leads the charge to help plus size women celebrate and create body positive images and events.

-Marie Denee