By Solomon Muleyi
December often has many events. But one of the most talked about events in Uganda at the moment is the Plus-size Fashion Week Festival slated for 6th December 2019, organized by renowned Kampala socialite and fashionista Doreen Faith. According to faith, the event is created to shove into light, the notion that there is a plus-size market that is often not catered for, yet the numbers are huge.
“The Plus Size Fashion Week is not just a women empowerment dart, it’s not just an opportunity for stake holders in the creative fashion industry to interact, it is more than that. It is a movement. There is need to show many people in the fashion, hair, beauty, and make up industry about the untapped potential in the Plus Size individuals. The End goal, being to promote and strengthen the economic, social as well as cultural development of the creative industries locally. We hope that after participation, the participants will have gained enough experience to appeal and break into the international market,’ Doreen Faith said.
The event will be a full day event, starting from 8:00am to 8:00pm at Skyz Naguru Hotel. Plus-size Fashion Week Festival Kampala is a subsidiary of ‘The Figure Bombshell’: a community movement and revolution which emerged in 2016 on social-media and has been for the past 3 years active on social-media particularly Instagram.
The Figure Bombshell’ name was created as a positive way to identify curvy and plus-size women in Uganda, Africa and beyond. ‘’I wanted a name that was unique and beyond the surface of beauty. Bearing in mind that the women Plus-size Fashion Week Festival Kampala associates with are beyond their physical appearances and have more to offer society than just bodies or good looks’’, states Doreen Faith, creator & founder.
The Figure Bombshell campaign was created to empower, educate and encourage plus-size women in Uganda to be body-confident and feel good about themselves and know that clothes on the catwalk don’t just look good on smaller people only, plus-size women can also be models and look good in the clothes showcased on the catwalks. The modelling world and high-end fashion market particularly from the west (London, Paris, New York) think that clothes still look better on small models, who at times portray an unhealthy image. We disagree with their perception because the average size for women in Europe is a size 16 with British women being the biggest in Europe and United States being the biggest in North America with their average woman being a size 18. This is a size of a relatively big, healthy and of a fuller-figured woman. I have observed that this problem is not just only in the western world where I live but here in Uganda too. Designers or fashion houses here are not using big women to model their clothes yet the typical Ugandan / African woman who would buy their clothes is a fuller figured woman with the average Ugandan woman being a size 22.
Change starts from somewhere and The Figure Bombshell movement has already sparked change within the fashion and beauty fraternities in Uganda. From fashion awards such as (ASFAs) using unusual plus-size models to showcase clothes on the catwalks at their 2018 award show to curvy beauty pageants (Miss Curvy) being created to girls and women proudly embracing themselves as plus-size something which they weren’t before. Women who follow The Figure Bombshell on Instagram say that the campaign has made them feel inclusive.