A New Award for BIPOC Designers Making Plus-Size Clothes

Photo: Courtesy of The Curvy Fashionista

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.

Photo: XL Shoots

“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.

A New Award for BIPOC Designers Making Plus-Size Clothes