Eloquii, the e-commerce site for sizes 14 to 28, has partnered with designer Melissa Mercedes on a collection.
Mercedes was the winner of the inaugural The Cultivate Award, an initiative that supports and nurtures the next generation of Black, Indigenous and people of color emerging designers in the plus-sized community, which is presented by The Curvy Fashionista with Eloquii as founding sponsor.
Mercedes is Afro-Latina and is from Los Angeles. She founded her eponymous indie plus-sized label as a self-taught designer in 2016. Although she graduated with a master’s degree in school counseling and helped prepare students for job interviews, she realized she wanted to concentrate more on empowering people through fashion.
After being an invited attendee of the 2016 Latin Grammys, she designed her own dress when she couldn’t find adequate plus-sized offerings. The same dress ended up on the cover of People en Español worn by singer and actress Chiquis Rivera. Mercedes has designed for such people as Laverne Cox, actress and LGBTQ advocate; Lauren Ash, actress and comedian, and Nina Parker, E! news host.
The Melissa Mercedes x Eloquii collection features 16 pieces retailing from $59 to $149. Mercedes and Eloquii’s creative director Yesenia Torres created the collection to span from day-to-night party dressing. Inspired by Mercedes’ mother’s favorite flower, the hero print is a pattern with a feminine touch of soft greens, yellows and pinks. The collection includes two suit sets in bold prints, flowy dresses with trendy cutout details and a sequined dress.
“When I was designing this collection with Eloquii, it was important to create something that would make customers feel empowered and confident as they move throughout the world,” said Mercedes. “I put a lot of my own personality into this collaboration, drawing from inspiration my own mother has given me with our hero print. Each piece of clothing from this collection has a versatility of textures and prints that can move from brunch to a night out. It was a dream come true to be able to work with Eloquii on bringing this collection to life.”
This collaboration will be the brand’s first designer apparel collaboration to offer sizes 30 and 32. Based on customer feedback and both Eloquii’s and Mercedes’ goal to make elevated plus-sized fashion accessible to more customers, every style will be offered in sizes 14 to 32.
Torres said: “We know and love that our customers want fashion to help express themselves, and this collection delivers a range of trend-driven styles with impeccable fit and attention to detail that you expect from Eloquii.”
Mercedes will be making a personal appearance during The Cultivate Award Year II’s virtual finale show to share her experience of working with Eloquii during the yearlong mentorship with the brand.
The four finalists of The Cultivate Award Year II are Angela Rene, Charniece White, LeAndra “Elle” Dove and Matthew Robinson.
The selected designer will win a $10,000 grant, a one-year professional mentorship program and the opportunity to create a capsule collection to be produced and sold by Eloquii in 2023. The virtual finale show will take place via Facebook Live on April 23 at 6 p.m., EST.
Judges are Eloquii’s Torres, Gwendolyn DeVoe, creator and executive producer of Full Figured Fashion Week, and Susan Moses, celebrity stylist and author of “The Art of Dressing Curves.”
The Melissa Mercedes x Eloquii collection can be purchased exclusively at Eloquii.com/MelissaMercedes. Eloquii is owned by Walmart Inc.
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