There’s a new fashion award in town, and it’s nurturing the next generation of BIPOC indie designers in the plus-size fashion community. Called the Cultivate Award, it’s presented by the Curvy Fashionista, a plus-size-focused digital publication, and sponsored by Eloquii, the online retailer offering sizes from 14 to 28.
Marie Denee, creator and editor-in-chief of the Curvy Fashionista, said she has been looking for ways to create a lasting impact on the plus-size community. This award is a manifestation of that, she said, adding that it was particularly important to center BIPOC indie designers since they’ve been a huge creative force behind plus-size fashion.
The judges include Lindsay Peoples Wagner (the Cut’s new editor-in-chief and co-founder of the Black in Fashion Council), Timothy Snell (celebrity stylist), Liris Crosse (the first plus-size-model winner of Project Runway), and Yesenia Torres (Eloquii’s director of design). They’ll grade designers based on various criteria like inspiration, originality, innovation, and overall aesthetic.
“At its core, the Cultivate Award is about having the right tools to impact the foundation of a designer’s business,” said Denee in a statement, recognizing Eloquii as an ideal partner. “It is just as important to have the winner design a capsule collection as it is for them to be mentored and shown how a design business operates. Having access to resources like cash, counsel, and the tools to scale will help ensure these businesses flourish.”
The winner, announced at a virtual fashion show in May, will receive a $10,000 grant, a one-year professional-mentorship program, and a chance to sell their very own capsule collection on Eloquii in 2022. There’s more love to go around, too: Two runners-up will get $2,500, and a Voter’s Choice winner will get $1,000.
Designers can find more info and apply here until March 1, 2021.