Sunday, 31 July 2011

Essence's Top Twenty Brands for Curvy Girls Reaction

So recently Essence magazine online decided to impart their wisdom on the tippity top 20 brands for the plus size shopper. This contest must have been fixed cause some rock star retailers are missing (IGIGI, Kiyonna, hello). I don't market myself as a plus size blogger but I do know how to make it rain when it comes to shopping.
First a word of praise. The list comprised of not only well establed large scale retailers but independent designers, something I really appreciate as a consumer.

I love that Monif C, Stefanie Bezaire and Jibri were featured on the list. These brands are amazing and offer well designed and contemporary clothes. They got it right when they listed Asos Curve, Simply Be (depending on the brand) and Anna Schlotz. These retailers offer great pieces for the curvy girl looking for modern trends.
Now time for the not so happy words. Can someone tell me what the hell Fashion to Figure is doing on that list? Now I know some people may like their clothes, but really it's one of the top brands and you equate them to H&M. No, no and just more no. Fashion to Figure has cute clothes but A) they dont fit right, B) they don't last C)they are more like RAVE for fat girls. Cheap single use clothing loaded with spandex. You are lucky after the first wash if the stuff doesn't come apart at the seams. Surely not anywhere near the top 20.
Inspire and Forever 21, these are more on par with H&M but I have to admit that I was never really impressed with New Look's Inspire range when I lived in London and tried the clothes on. They were just weird, and the fit was off, so I think Inspire should have been left off the list. Style 369, I have issues with their customer service and shipping, but the clothes once you manage to get them can be okay. It's hit or miss with them, similar to Evans, their parent company.
Essence could have done a better job with describing price points, possibly with a ranking system like low, moderate to high for all the listings. Retailers like Damn You Alexis and CarmaKoma clothing are not inexpensive and then get damn near crazy once you factor in the currency differences, international shipping and customs fees.
I just want to know why IGIGI wasn't up there. This is was such an obvious snub, a few plus size celebs have worn IGIGI on Essence covers and photoshoots so I know they know who Yuliya Raqual is. hmpf!


  1. Nicole,
    Sie sind ein Schatz!!! I happened upon this post about 2 weeks ago having never heard of For months, I’d been looking for wrap dresses and a really sexy lacy number and thanks to you I found them. And this all happened during Kiyonna‘s 50% off for 50 hour sale!! I love your blog but more importantly I LOVE seeing a smart, beautiful, radiant, young brown sister strutting her stuff in Europe. I only wish I‘d trusted myself and followed my dream to do the same 2 decades ago. I’ll just live vicariously through you for the next 4 years. I wish you every blessing and happiness the world has to offer. Keep your head up - You rock!

  2. Thank you so much. I adore Kiyonna. I one lace dress from them which I wore in a wedding and another which I ordered but never wore so I sold it on ebay. Their stuff is really nicely made. 50 percent off I would have died, luckily I didnt know about this sale or I would have bought up the whole store!! Thanks for the kind words. Your comment made me smile!!