Yesterday evening Lane Bryant unveiled their new flagship store on 34th street with cocktails like the Lanetini (witty, isn’t it?), trays of canapés filled with éclairs, cupcakes and corn dogs and plus-size gurus like bloggers Alissa Wilson, Ashley Falcon and Marcy Guevara. The through the charts gorgeous-ness of the night (I say ‘through the charts’ because Lane Bryant’s new collection is beyond amazing) was vamped up even more by the presence of our favorite make-up artist Jay Manuel and the stunning plus-size model Candice Huffine. Let me tell you, being surrounded by this many beautiful plus-size people (well, primarily plus-size with the exception of Jay) made me feel like I’d died and gone to curve heaven.
I received the invitation to go to Lane’s opening by none other than the stunning Marcy Guevara. You may know her as Marie Claire’s former “Big Girl in a Skinny World,” or from her YouTube channel “The Marcy Minute”, but now she’s the newest style correspondent for Rachael Ray. Marcy is living the plus-size dream – she graduated university with a degree in broadcast journalism, a degree inspired by a perpetual desire to be on TV, and has since come a long way (last night she interviewed Jay Manuel right on the LB red carpet!). “I have always wanted to be on television, since I was 11 years old,” she said. “I have footage of myself pretending to be a reporter!” This may sound cheesy, but watching this intelligent, plus-size beauty interview Jay then and there was like seeing an in-the-flesh success story right before my eyes.
Like so many aspiring plus-size writers/bloggers/columnists, Marcy started out with her YouTube channel about four years ago, and was discovered by Skorch Magazine, who immediately recognized her unique voice, one that’s sassy, well-spoken and cutely clever, and asked her to do plus-size fashion videos. “I was like, ‘plus size fashion?’” she said, noting the surprise she must have felt at the time. “I’ve always known I was plus-size. It’s never been a secret, and I’ve never necessarily been ashamed of it, but I don’t think I fully embraced it until I realized it was such an amazing world.” And what an amazing world it is. This night couldn’t have been a better example of that – Lane by Lane Bryant is a total re-branding of the LB we all know. Gone are any signs of middle-aged home-wear; now are the days of a youthful era, full of life and color, energy and vivaciousness. It’s absolutely the perfect segway into the spring season.
Marcy says her experiences in the plus-size world have been a complete blessing and an open door leading to her ultimate goal. “My biggest thing is being able to help women feel good and confident,” she said. “It isn’t really about money or fame, or even fashion. It’s just about helping women feel amazing.”
Coming from L.A., a city she refers to as the “most vain city of the entire country” (sorry Californians!), Marcy’s take on plus-size fashion is a little different than some of other bloggers and stylists out there, whose main premise may be to do away with all the fashion do’s and don’ts set aside for plus-size ladies. “I’m all about shape-wear and finding things that fit you and flatter what you have and work with what you’ve got,” she said. “I don’t necessarily believe in the ‘rules’ but I do believe in wearing things that not only make you happy, but look good. And sometimes what may not look good to others makes you happy so that’s a weird, personal thing you have to deal with.” For Marcy, the things that make her feel good include smooth lines, trend pieces, awesome colors, patterns and prints and things that “make other women inspired to try something new.”
As a plus-size woman, Marcy does realize clothing options are still limited. Some stores she swears by are the Lane collection from Lane Bryant (if you hadn’t already figured), Torrid (especially the denim!), City Chic and Fashion to Figure. “I’m not a label whore,” she said with a laugh. “It’s really about what looks and feels good. So if you find something in the neighborhood shop and it works and feels great, then wear it! And if you find something that’s Michael Kors and its $500 dollars and it looks and feels great, fabulous!” You have to love this mentality! It’s not about the price; it’s not about donning the designer threads; it’s about the feeling you get when you see yourself in the mirror.
To the aspiring blogger/writers/spokespeople out there, Marcy offers some advice. “If you’re blogging about anything, plus-size fashion, food, travel, live it and be passionate,” she said. “I’ve heard that it’s from 9 to 5 that pays your bills, but it’s from 5 to 9 that really matters. It’s about finding your niche – what makes you different from every other blogger out there – what you can bring to the table.” For Marcy, her niche was that she’s born to be a host; she’s confident in front of the camera and confident in her own skin. For others, it may be a punk rock edge or a preppy, sophisticated look. Everyone’s got something that sets them apart, but it’s about presenting that something in a way that appeals and relates to everyone else.
And Marcy’s dream for the plus-size world: “I want Glamour! I would love to be Glamour’s plus-size guru. I would love to see Redbook and Nylon and Lucky and everyone have a plus-size blogger and go-to girl,” she said. “I would love us to not be so segregated, but if it’s going to be segregated and just going to be one little page and one little column, then let’s get one little page and one little column on every single magazine on every single newsstand.” We might just be on our way. Marcy seems hopeful. And seeing all those women there last night, proud to be plus-size, showing off their curves and foxy voluptuous-ness, made me pretty hopeful too. So let’s keep those curves coming!
You can follow Marcy on Twitter!