CeCe Olisa

CeCe Olisa

by Melissa Magsaysay

The Blogger and Co-Founder of theCURVYcon on Including all Women in Fashion

With a motto like, "don't wait on your weight to live the life you want" it’s clear that blogger and the co-founder of theCURVYcon, CeCe Olisa is leading with confidence, an inclusive mindset and pure positivity.

She founded her blog after moving to New York from California and feeling that her experience with dating, shopping, work were different from that of her skinny friends.

Enter a wildly popular digital log documenting her daily life from fitness to fashion and beauty. Her foray into regular fitness posts have inspired many to follow her journey and abide by her workout reviews (from Ariel Yoga to the YMCA) and ways to stay motivated.

Olisa’s positivity is palpable and it’s no wonder the ambitious blogger launched theCURVYcon with business partner, Chastity Garner in 2015. The popular (generally sold out) convention, which happens in New York from September 6th to 8th, during New York Fashion Week, draws speakers like Lauren Chan and brands like Rachel Roy to have a presence for a crowd of passionate fashion followers.

Here, Olisa talks personal style and using our dollars to support diversity and inclusivity.

Plus Size Designer Fashion Cece Olima

Q & A With Cece

How would you describe your personal style?

I grew up in California and moved to New York City for college. My style reflects the best part of both coasts, simple and chic. I love flirty dresses and I also love great fitting denim paired with tops that feel lush and polished.

Who are some of your favorite brands and designers to wear?

I'm obsessed with Rachel Roy and Eloquii. I find that their take on plus size fashion always feels on-trend and age appropriate, which is hard to find in plus size fashion.

What was the impetus to start CURVYCon? What is the main goal of the event?

We started theCURVYcon because we saw a need for inclusivity in fashion. We noticed that plus size fashion is severely underrepresented in the mainstream fashion conversation and we saw that plus size women were severely under served by designers and brands. The options for plus size women to shop is limited and the options that do exist are mostly e-commerce. We wanted to create a space where the plus size and body positive community could meet in person, discuss things that matter to us via panels and shop in person instead of online. Our pop-up shop is wildly popular because we ask online retailers to bring inventory for women to try on, we provide dressing rooms so people can learn their sizes and avoid return shipping hassles. We also take the powerful plus size community from online to in person which is a very powerful thing. It provides a space from women to feel welcome, embraced, celebrated and included in the fashion conversation.

What have been some of the highlights of the event for you?

When Fern Malis (founder of New York Fashion Week) attended our first fashion show during theCURVYcon last year that was a huge moment for us. Chrissy Metz confidently telling the world that she can dress like a Kardashian if she wants to from our stage was a pretty epic moment. Most of all, the fact that our convention has been sold out every year since the beginning, that's the biggest honor-- the plus size community supports us and that's what keeps us going.

Why do you think there has been such a positive response to CURVYCon?

If you speak to anyone who has attended theCURVYcon they talk about the positive energy that you feel from the moment you walk in the door. Throughout the weekend, groups of women will break out into spontaneous dancing out of pure joy-- they feel free to do that, free to express themselves and take up space. That’s not something we get in everyday life.

Do you think the fashion industry has made strides in becoming more inclusive?

The fashion industry has made strides to be inclusive, but it's not enough. We still have so much to do, but brands and designers are listening. They want to change and we want to help them change.

What more can we do to become more inclusive and diverse?

Right now, I use my dollars to support diversity and inclusion. I seek out businesses owned by women and minorities, I buy from them as much as I can. I also support brands and companies that are actively trying to be inclusive-- I pay attention to size offering, what kinds of models are used, everything. I reward businesses that speak to my core values!

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