All month long, we’re profiling the women who inspire us. Marie Denee, a friend of Dia&Co and one of the original voices in the online plus-size fashion community, has spent the past ten years creating a supportive, stylish space for women who wear sizes 14 and up. Not to mention, in honor of Black History Month we’ve teamed up with Marie to shine a little light on the women of color who were the early game-changers in the plus-size fashion space. When we look at Marie, we see passion, drive, intelligence, and an incredible wit. Keep reading to learn why Marie inspires us.
Written by Marie Denee
My superpower is that I’m a walking Wikipedia of plus-size fashion. It’s the weirdest thing just to know who’s done what, when they’ve done what, what’s going on. It’s my passion to be able to provide information and be that resource. That’s the whole reason why I created the brand. So part of that requires me to know everything that’s going on as much as possible.
My power outfit is a great midi skirt, a leather jacket, and a good heel.
My dream is for plus-size women to know that they can feel more confident—that they can come to “The Curvy Fashionista” for whatever they’re looking for. We’re going to have it, or we’re going to tell them where they can go and get it. My dream is that there wouldn’t be a need for my job. Because if that’s the case, that means that there’s full integration and representation of plus-size fashion in mainstream fashion. There’s no such thing as plus sizes—just sizing.
I feel my best when I’m organized, when I’ve had good sleep, and when I feel daring. When I’m getting ready to take a leap of faith and really push myself to that next level and jump off of the edge, and I’m just like, “All right, let’s see if we can build this on the way down so we can soar.” That moment.
The woman who has inspired my life or career the most is my mom. She was in the military for 23 years, in the Navy. She always told us to never let anyone see us sweat, and there’s no such thing as a glass ceiling. Then my grandmother who snuck going to college when she was raising five kids back in the day. I’m constantly inspired by the women in the plus industry. I really just tip my hat to women who are daring to redefine, who are daring to push that boundary, or redefine their situations, and do it unapologetically.
I’m inspired when I see someone achieving one of the goals they’ve shared with me. When people make those dreams happen and really speak life into them, that’s what gives me inspiration because that lets me know that I can do it too. And it’s not what they’ve done, but what I need to do for me.
I hope to inspire women to be fierce with decisions and find themselves, find what makes them happy, find what gives them purpose. And along the way, find a new fly dress in a silhouette that you wouldn’t have thought to wear. When you’re more daring with your clothes and bolder with your choices, you’ll go far in many different places.
It’s important to find women to inspire you, look up to, and mentor you because it’s a roadmap. When you look at all these badass women, from politics to history to fashion to business, at what they’ve created and what they’ve overcome, they’ve made the roadmap. They’ve just affirmed to you that you can do it too. They say you’re the sum of the five people around you or something like that. So, for me, I look at who’s pushing me, what I’m doing, and how I can push them. Let’s win together.
When women support women, the whole world wins.
The Founder of "The Curvy Fashionista"