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Interview: Gwen DeVoe of Full Figured Fashion Week

Posted on: May 11, 2009

Full Figured Fashion Week will commence on June 25th –June 27th of this year in New York City and buzz is not only surrounding the event, but also its creator, Ms. Gwen DeVoe.

gwenGwen DeVoe is the Founder and CEO of DeVoe Siganature Events (DSE), an event production and managemnent company for plus size affairs.  Ms. DeVoe is a former plus size model and has created numerous events that cater to plus size consumers, models and the plus community as a whole.   She travels the United States with DSE uplifting and empowering plus size women with workshops, fashion shows, and a remarkable sample sale experience. Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Ms. DeVoe.  In the interview, she speaks to fablove on FFFWeek, other events that highlight plus size women and fashion and plans to take FFFWeek international.

For those who are just being introduced to you, how long have you been in the fashion industry?

Collectively, I have been in the fashion industry for over 15 years.

How did DeVoe Signature Events (DSE) come about; was this an idea of your own or did it evolve from a team of individuals?

DeVoe Signature Events, was a company that I started on my own after having been a party promoter under the name of Diva Affairs.

gd interview curvesity_awards_21DSE does lots of events/mixers for plus size women, what makes you focus exclusively on plus size women?

I focus on plus size women because I am a plus size woman and I know the challenges I sometimes face when I am looking for events that are specifically targeted to my interests.

One of the events coming up very soon is Full Figured Fashion Week (FFFWeek)…Can you tell us a little about the inspiration and concept behind this event?

I was inspired to create FFFWeek because plus size fashion designers have traditionally been left out of the traditional Fashion Week events.   Also, I believe that plus size consumers need to know that there are other choices available to them besides those that they are accustomed to hearing about.

Is the goal for FFFWeek to become as respected and anticipated as say, New York Fashion Week or Paris Fashion Week?

That is absolutely the goal.  But, in order to get this respect, we need the support of the plus size community and the media, or it will be just another “event” or another “fashion show.”

Do you have plans for this event to travel the globe?

Absolutely!  We already have partnership offers from individuals in London and Australia to bring the concept there.

Are there other cities involved in FFFWeek this year?

We anticipate adding at least one more city to the calendar this year.

Is there anything you wanted to add to this year’s event, but were not able to?

Yes, there were a few components that we wanted to add to the event.  But, I won’t spoil the surprise element of those components because we intend to nail it next year.

What do you think of all the excitement surrounding FFFWeek?

I am thrilled, but not really surprised about the excitement.  It’s time for this type of event to happen and I am happy to be able to turn the concept into reality.

Now, tell us about some of your other ventures such as, Full Figured & Fabulous, Dangerous Curves…the Tour and Project Curves; what do those events entail? gd interview MANNEQUIN3

Full Figured & Fabulous is a runway model competition for aspiring plus size models; Dangerous Curves…the Tour! is our traveling runway show and sample sale; and Project Curves is our traveling plus model workshop….we do A LOT of traveling 🙂.  DSE is New York-based but we want to be able to afford women in other cities the opportunity to receive the benefits of all that we have to offer them and, as such, we are willing to travel to them.

What is DSE’s objective during the Summer Networking Party?

The Summer Networking Parties are a way for my staff and I to unwind during the summer.  Typically we travel during the Fall, Winter and Spring months.  It slows down a bit during the summer so when we’re home we like to have events that re-connect us with our friends here in NYC.

Will there be a Summer Networking Party this year?  When?

We have already begun having monthly networking parties this Spring.  They are monthly events held at the beautiful Katra Lounge in Soho .  Dates are announced via our website and on our Facebook page.

What other causes are you involved in outside of DSE?

DSE and the rest of my brands have me pretty busy, but I do host other events for organizations whose mission involves empowerment of women.

Do you see yourself as a pioneer in Plus Size events and promotion?

Indeed, others have told me that I am and I graciously accept that label.

Lastly…Is the fashion world ready for Gwen DeVoe and DSE?

I think the fashion world is definitely ready but whether or not they accept us is another story.  I intend to do it like it has never been done before.

gd interview PA_Lane_Bryant_Event

I have to tell you, I am very excited about Full Figured Fashion Week and I hope it gets bigger and better with each passing year!  Thank you for seeing fit to focus on women with a curvy figure and those who make fashion happen for them.  It is truly an honor to have you on fablove Ms. DeVoe.

Full Figured Fashion Week will be a monumental stepping stone for the plus size industry.  Many of us have joined forces to create a forum that will showcase the best fashion and plus size models in the nation.  We encourage every plus size consumer who has ever felt the frustration of not being able to walk into a store and find something as simple as a black dress to help us spread the word about FFFWeek.  Follow us on Twitter, visit our website, read our blogs, and tell your curvy friends to tell their curvy friends. We WILL make a difference, but we need your help.


Find out more information about Gwen DeVoe and DSE at the following websites

DeVoe Signature Events websites:  www.dseventsinc.com

Request to be a friend on Myspcace:  www.myspace.com/devoesignatureevents and on

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/New-York-NY/DeVoe-Signature-Events/42123642849

Watch DSE-TV

Find out more information about FFFWeek here:  fablove May 1st post and www.fffweek.com

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6 Responses to "Interview: Gwen DeVoe of Full Figured Fashion Week"

Hello Gwen,I want to awknowledge all of your strides and efforts to the plus size community,youve put us on the map and continue tirelessly setting an example of class and poise.Keep doing what you do sweet lady and know we all thank you!Blessings… And rock that house on full figured fashion week!

Chelsey aka The Full Figured Fashionista

P.S. great interview as well fablove:))

Aww, thanks Chelsey!

This is an exciting interview and I’d love to read more. Gwen DeVoe is beautiful and I am thankful for all her endeavors. I’m looking for plus size fashions and ideas–which is why I love this site. For those of us outside of NYC could you share a schedule of the full size fashion show–maybe there will be one near me? Great job fablove another inspiring interview.

Thank again for stopping by Zenobia, There is a non-finalized schedule of events for FFFWeek on fffweek.com. But since this is an area of interest I will consider posting the official finalized schedule closer to the date of the event. Thanks for the request!

Thanks so much to FabLove for assisting us in getting the word out about FFFWeek. And, thanks to Chelsey and Zenobia for your comments above. As you know, FFFWeek was the first of its kind and it debuted before an estimated 1,000 people over the course of a few days. The response has been amazing and we definitely intend to have another one in NYC, in addition to two other major cities, in 2010. We appreciate all the curvy support of our endeavors and look forward to continuing our work to showcase real size fashions worn by real size models.

Thank you FabLove!!!!!

We are so proud reading about you at New York fashion week – you are an icon in the world of plus size women. You help give identity and pride to all of us. Thank you.

Judy

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