Fashion on her own terms: An interview with Gwen DeVoe(Founder and CEO of FFFWeek)

While taking time out of her busy schedule I had the chance to talk with Gwen DeVoe, the mastermind behind Full Figured Fashion Week.  I got a chance to ask about the return of FFFWeek, what to expect from this year’s event and what advice she can offer those who want to pursue plus size modeling.  Enjoy!

Photo courtesy of FFFWeek
  1.        For those who might not be familiar with FFFWeek can you give them a little more information? What inspired you to create the event?

 Gwen DeVoe : FFFWeek was created by me in 2009 out of my desire to see fuller figures represented on fashion runways.  I attended an event at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in 2008 and was inspired to create something similar for plus sizes.  I was already a popular name in the plus size industry so it was not entirely impossible for me to pull the event off.  If anyone could do it, I could.  The plus size community supported me 100% ---- the rest is history.

2.      FFFWeek is returning for another year. Last year’s event was originally intended to be the final one. However, it is back by popular demand. Were you expecting such a response from fans and etc.?

Gwen DeVoe : I was not surprised at the response from our fans at all.  FFFWeek has become a staple in the plus size fashion community.  My decision to end it was both personal and professional and I wanted to pursue other personal goals.  However, timing is everything and as was evidenced by the tremendous response from our supporters,  it was not yet time to let the event go.  I am extremely grateful for the outpouring of support shown for the event.  We're back, bigger than ever before.

     3. Speaking of this year’s event what can fans expect to see this time around (certain events throughout the week)?

Gwen DeVoe: We have revamped our 2015 event schedule to include additional fashion shows and small business workshops.  We have also upgraded our annual All White Cruise, which is our most popular non-fashion event.  This year's experience includes a white glove level of service that has never before been presented in the plus size community.  We are extremely excited for this year's events!
Photo courtesy of FFFWeek

4.      As a former plus size model yourself what is your opinion on the current developments happening in plus size modeling (ad campaigns, modeling in London Fashion Week & etc.)? What would you like to see happen, not just in plus size modeling, but in fashion as a whole?

Gwen DeVoe: As with all things "plus", the plus modeling industry is booming right now.  I attribute this growth to the previous hard work of industry icons who paved the way for plus models years ago and to those newcomers who have continued to champion for the rights of women of all sizes to be included in fashion.  I personally look forward to seeing more brick and mortar stores (not just online) carrying plus sizes. Even though online shopping is extremely popular, there are some of us who welcome the experience to see and feel items before we purchase them.

5. Do you have any advice you would like to offer those who want to pursue plus size modeling? It can be either for your own personal plus size modeling experience or from FFFWeek?

Gwen DeVoe: A few simple rules to follow would be: 1) fully research the industry; a lot of information can be found online and/or via social media, 2) know your strengths (and your weaknesses) and adjust accordingly; not every pretty face will be successful as a model; 3) develop a thick skin so that you are able to take constructive criticism; you will receive many "no's" before your big break comes and lastly 4) be pleasant to all you come in contact with; this industry is extremely small and news of bad behavior/attitudes travel quickly.

6. Lastly, how can people reach you or find out more about FFFWeek?  
Gwen DeVoe: Our 2015 event website ( is expected to launch on February 2, 2015. Fans and followers of the event will be able to find all things pertaining to this year's event at that site.  
Thanks again to Gwen DeVoe & the FFFWeek team for granting me this interview.  You guys be sure to check out their website and Facebook. 

Images appear courtesy of FFFWeek. Images may not be used without permission.  My Own Sense of Fashion©

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