Candice Huffine and Rachel Roy

Candice Huffine and Rachel Roy

by Melissa Magsaysay

The model and designer discuss conscious shopping, social media and standing up for what they believe in, in order to make real change in the fashion industry.

“In terms of where we are with size inclusiveness, I like to say, ‘There's no going back now.' I know that the only way is forward.”
-Candice Huffine

Strength, insight and maintaining an unwavering down to earth attitude while skyrocketing through the fashion industry are just a few of the characteristics model Candice Huffine and designer Rachel Roy have in common. They have both become a beacon of change for women wanting a more inclusive fashion landscape and are effectively transforming the conversation just by living and creating authentically.

Individually they are a force, so imagine what it’s like when they sit down for a tête-à-tête to talk conscious spending, social media and standing their ground in order to make a real shift toward more diversity and acceptance.

Plus Size Designer Fashion
Candice Huffine behind the scenes on set for 11 Honoré.
“With everything from social media to shopping, we can be stronger and know our power. That includes how we make our purchases.”
-Rachel Roy
Plus Size Designer Fashion
Fashion Designer Rachel Roy
Plus Size Designer Fashion
Candice Huffine (L), Rachel Roy (R) attends the 2016 CFDA Fashion Awards at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.

Q & A With Candice and Rachel

Candice Huffine – Hi! How long has it been? I think it’s only been a year? It seems like it's been so much longer. That's so crazy (laughs).

Rachel Roy- It's been a little bit longer. Yeah, I mean a lot has happened. And time really flies.

CH - Yes, it does. A lot of great things have happened in a little amount of time. We first met during the launch of your Curvy collection.

RR – And we went to the CFDA awards together which was so much fun. I loved working with you for the Curvy launch because I think you are the complete package. It's your energy and spirit. You’re super active. On Instagram, you can see the joy that you have living, and it's all very real. You’re a good role model for a category that I had wanted to target for a very long time. I personally felt a kinship toward you. And then there’s the beauty factor, of course.

CH - That's so nice! Thank you so much! Just to go back for a second, when we did finally get to meet, I knew that you were starting to expand your collection to curvy women. It was really nice to finally hear about what you were thinking and why the time was now. I related so much and it was refreshing to see that you were making the line so similarly to the way you had already been designing your (main) collection. It wasn't alienating the customer in any way or assuming that this woman is a completely different person than any other woman out there who enjoys fashion. It was just awesome to be a part of it.

And in terms of where we are with size inclusiveness, I like to say, "There's no going back now." I know that the only way is forward, and I think the more doing that happens, and the more actual commitments, are what will make the change. There is no way that inclusivity will diminish. It can't do anything but continue.

RR - I would definitely agree with that. I have found that it's definitely gotten easier over the last two years in particular to have the conversation and it's growing, which is amazing. But there was a time in all honesty, that it was really difficult. When I first started in fashion, so we're talking maybe 2006/2007, I worked with this stylist that told me that editors would not take me seriously if I were to cast 50/50 Caucasian and ethnic models for my fashion show. So, I'm glad that it's changing.

CH - Right. It's just a very archaic way of thinking. There are some ideals from back in the day that sort of just keep lingering, where they just need to be eradicated completely. The sort of ideas that used to exist about not being able to have girls of different sizes or colors, it's a clueless way of thinking. But nowadays, especially because of social media it can fast-track people’s reactions in the best of ways, you know?

RR - I'm glad that social media essentially gives access to the consumer’s voice.

CH – But I think a love-hate relationship with social media is pretty normal for most people? (laughs) Do you feel that way? Love-hate?

RR - I think it's a very interesting thing. I have a private Instagram, and that's so much fun. It’s easy, no pressure, and you get back instant love. And then with the brand, you don't get that instant love. You get that instant...well, sometimes you do. But you do get instant feedback.

CH - It's a learning tool I suppose, right? It's an instant connection to the customer base. I love it because it does give you that connection that you normally wouldn't have. And it's really beautiful to actually be connected with the people that you're impacting. Sometimes you get a comment or a direct message telling you that the words you said or the image you took actually did affect them and help them in some small way. That's the icing on the cake. I think that it's been a great platform for better or worse. But I also just get a little bit frustrated with it because there's so much stock put into these numbers that come along with it. The skill, message or heart of a person gets so muddied because it’s more about seeing a few thousand double-taps. I think we're losing a sense of self. I see a lot of young models coming up in the industry with a contradicting message. The photo that they post is geared towards the male gaze, but the caption they post underneath is geared towards a female body empowerment message. And the two never really match up for me. And I feel like I'm banging my head against the wall sometimes, because there's so much good that can be done from a post.

RR - I love that term, "the male gaze."

CH - Yes! A girl will be so scantily clad in the picture, which means, "I want your visual approval, because I want to be hot and sexy for you." But then I want to tell you to love your kneecaps. The two, they don't necessarily match up.

RR - So well said, so well said. I think that message is standard: If you couldn't print it out and put it in a book on your coffee table, it shouldn't make it on Instagram.

CH - Exactly. That's a great point to remember. I look at it as a photo album as well. "If that was all printed and put on my coffee table, would I want to open it?"

RR – With everything from social media to shopping, we can be stronger and know our power. That includes how we make our purchases.

CH - I think that's a great thing to remember. I feel like I'm guilty of that sometimes. I need to remember that if someone doesn't want me to wear their stuff, I should probably not be trying to squeeze into it. I need to let fashion change for me, you know? And find the people who embrace my body and me.

RR - That's right. That’s so powerful. I love that.

CH - Can we hashtag that please? (laughs)

RR - You have a lot of gems, Candice! (laughs)

CH - There's been a misconception of who this (curvy) woman is, what she's about, what she likes to do and what she likes to wear. I think that if we use social media in the amazing way that it was designed to be used, we can show the world who we really are and that way it's visual and tangible and represents us the way we always wanted to be represented so that people can create things for the right way. We want to show you that we're fabulous and proud and we will represent your brand in the way that is intended.

Obviously with a site like 11 Honoré, it’s a great sign that huge things are happening, and I think it's because we’ve made very clear that we're deserving of that and worthy of that.


Featured Products

Apiece Apart

Eugenia Mini Dress

Tanya Taylor

Emma Top

Tanya Taylor

Flora Short

Apiece Apart

Pina Spaghetti Maxi

Tanya Taylor

Kendra One-Piece

Tanya Taylor

Kelly Wrap One-Piece

Tanya Taylor

Kaia Bikini Top

Tanya Taylor

Kaia Bikini Bottom


Crew-Neck Sweater


Scoop Neck Tank

Share This: