Fashion is for Every Body: 2017

What a year 2017 has been.

After blogging about fashion for over five years  at Spashionista from the perspective of an outsider - disabled, curvy, over the age of 40 - I could see that what was needed most was a way to make everyone feel like they had just as much right to be fashionable as the models they saw on runways and in magazines.

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That idea was the driving force behind the inaugural Fashion is for Every Body show in 2016. With no real experience, a principally crowdfunded budget and dozens of volunteers my friend Krystle Ramos and I masterminded an inclusive fashion runway show for adults of all ages, sizes and physical abilities. 

We could not have predicted the level of success we achieved.  More importantly, we had no idea how many lives we would change for the better. Not just the models - although many of them underwent profoundly positive changes in how they felt about themselves. The show's message really resonated with a lot of the designers and audience members. I know all of these things for a fact because they've told me firsthand. They are eager to be a part of the inclusive fashion revolution. 

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The show was meant to be a one-off event, but the experience had impetus and graviitas. There was no turning back. The experience needed to become a movement.

And now it is.

This year Fashion is for Every Body became a state and federally recognized non-profit organization. We partnered with Empower Tennessee to put on a bigger, better runway show called Boundless featuring five Nashville designers and 26 models at Studio 615 to a packed house. In addition to the fashion show we've teamed up with local designers to showcase non-sample-sized models in quarterly photo shoots. We will also award our first adaptive/inclusive garment pattern endowment in memory of model and staff member Kimmie Jones. 

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The transformative power of fashion is real. It's not a shallow marketing ploy. Fashion is a language; a non-verbal means of communication and self-expression that shows others who you are as an individual. Clothes that fit and flatter the body and personality of the wearer reinforce body positivity and self-esteem regardless of age, shape, size or ability. 

Fashion really is for every body. We hope you'll join the fashion revolution with us.