Eloquii, the e-commerce destination for sizes 14 to 28, has become the founding sponsor of The Cultivate Award, presented by The Curvy Fashionista, a plus-size digital media platform supporting the plus-size woman.
The Cultivate Award is an initiative that supports and nurtures the next generation of indie designers of color in the plus-size community. These designers are given the opportunity to win a $10,000 grant, a one-year professional mentorship program and to present their own capsule collection for consideration to be produced and sold on eloquii.com in 2022. The two runners-up will each be awarded a $2,500 scholarship grant and additional prizes. A “Voter’s Choice” winner will also be selected the public.
The judges are Lindsay Peoples Wagner, editor in chief of The Cut and Black in Fashion Council cofounder; Timothy Snell, celebrity stylist; Liris Crosse, first plus-size model winner of “Project Runway,” and Yesenia Torres, Eloquii’s director of design. They will evaluate designers based on such criteria as inspiration, originality, innovation and aesthetic.
“I’ve been looking for ways to create a lasting impact on the plus-size community, and The Cultivate Award is one of them,” said Marie Denee, creator and editor in chief of The Curvy Fashionista. “We’ve been seeking designer collaborations with indies in our community for years, and it was particularly important for this program to be centered around BIPOC [Black, Indigenous and people of color] indie designers, as they’ve been the creative force behind plus-size fashion.”
To apply, up-and-coming designers must fit the criteria of having served a plus-size audience (size 14 and above) for at least two years. They should submit applications to thecurvyfashionista.com/events/the-cultivate-awards. Submissions will be reviewed by the judges on a rolling basis through March 1. Finalists will be notified ahead of a livestreamed finale event in May, where the ultimate winner, the “Voter’s Choice” winner and two runners-up will be revealed.
“Eloquii was the ideal partner because, at its core, The Cultivate Award is about having the right tools to impact the foundation of a designer’s business,” said Denee. “It is just as important to have the winner design a capsule collection as it is for them to be mentored and shown how a design business operates. Having access to resources like cash, counsel, and the tools to scale will help ensure the businesses flourish.”
Mariah Chase, chief executive officer of Eloquii, added, “At Eloquii, we’re working to elevate BIPOC designers by giving them a platform to create beautiful, fresh designers that offer great style and fit. In partnership with Marie Denee and in presenting The Cultivate Award, we aim to initiate positive change through transformative power of fashion by introducing emerging BIPOC designers and their businesses.”
On its website, Eloquii features such merchandise categories as apparel, swim, wide width footwear and accessories. In 2020, Eloquii launched a clothing rental service offering customers a rotating closet.
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