Rebel Wilson designing for Torrid is the latest celebrity plus size clothing collaboration. Wilson's announcement two days ago comes on the heels of Melissa McCarthy's Seven7 line, which is due out in August. And before the haters say that two plus-size celebs designing clothing in the same year is over-saturating the market, let me tell you why I want to see even more of these celebrity designer collaborations happen.
My very first exposure to the body positive and fat fashion community came when I was working at a magazine internship and I was assigned to write about Beth Ditto's line for Evans back in 2009. At the time, I was a very timid size 14/16. I had seen a lot of celebrities chastised for weight gain or celebrated for weight loss, but I had never seen anyone being unapologetically fat. When I saw Beth Ditto wearing sequin tops and loud printed leggings, I saw myself as I wished I could be. And now thankfully am.
For some plus-size women, celebrities such as Rebel Wilson or Melissa McCarthy are the only visible women who look like them. These clothing lines could be someone else's ah-ha fat fashion moment like Beth Ditto's line was for me. But there are more celebrities I want to see convert their personal style into fashion for the masses.
1. Danielle Brooks
When Orange is the New Black star Danielle Brooks posted this photo on her Instagram last week and tagged it #voiceofthecurves, the message was heard loud and clear. I instantly saw the photo reposted all over my feed with heart-eye emojis and #WCW captions. The photo was from a Glamour Magazine story about how Brooks learned to love her body.
When so many other magazines still seem to hide the figure of plus-size celebrities, the photo and its message were so refreshing. And Brooks' personal style never seems to miss. Whether she's creating a glamourous red carpet moment or having fun with color, her aesthetic is confident, sexy, and unapologetically bold. It would be a natural fit for her to work with a brand like Monif C.
2. Kelly Clarkson
When Kelly Clarkson appeared on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live earlier this year, she answered most questions diplomatically except when asked about fat shamers. To that question, she simply replied, "Screw 'em," like a badass. And now, many years into her post-American Idol career, it seems that Clarkson is becoming a new body positive role model. I would love to see a line of body positive statement tees because Clarkson's "I'm awesome" response to fat shaming journalist Katie Hopkins shows that she knows just how to get to the point. I could see her collaborating with plus-size t-shirt brand, Feminine Funk and shutting down all the haters.
3. Gabourey Sidibe
Gabourey Sidibe has always had my heart, but it was really her speech at the Ms. Foundation Gala last year that solidified her as my best friend in my mind. When I read that she said, "If they hadn't told me I was ugly, I never would have searched for my beauty. And if they hadn't tried to break me down, I wouldn't know that I'm unbreakable," it really resonated with me and I am sure a lot of other visible plus-size women who are constantly asked, "How are you so confident?" And when it comes to Sidibe's personal style, she's an inspiration for me in that arena, too. Styled by plus-size expert Marcy Guevara, Sidibe isn't afraid to take risks. I would obviously love to see her collaborate with my brand, Ready to Stare (duh, best friend in my mind, remember?).
4. Mary Lambert
When I saw Mary Lambert wear this Monique Luhlier gown to the American Music Awards last year, I let out a collective "Yessssssss!" Everything about the gown and the woman wearing it was perfect and it was so in line with what Lambert stands for as a body positive advocate and public figure. Lambert talked about her own fashion journey and shared a few of her favorite brands (which include two indie labels, yay!) on Who What Wear. I would love to see her collaborate with a brand like ModCloth or even an indie label to create some plus-size magic.
5. Tess Holliday
While model Tess Holliday (formerly Tess Munster) has been an icon in the body positive community, she's gained a lot more mainstream recognition since signing with MiLK Management in January. It's surprising to me that hasn't already designed a collection outside of her own #EffYourBeautyStandards merchandise. Her love of vintage caftans and all things glamourous would certainly make for a marketable collection. Holliday has a long relationship with indie brand Domino Dollhouse, so it would make sense for the two powerhouses to collab. And I wouldn't mind a line of hair products or makeup out of Holliday either, while we are in the business of dreaming.