In the last five years, the fashion industry has seen diversity in ad campaigns and expanding options for shoppers of different sizes. A notable moment was during season 14 of Project Runway, when plus-size designer Ashley Nell Tipton won the competition and made history as the first designer to send a plus-size collection down the runway.
From that crowning moment, Tipton went full steam ahead into her very first collection with JCPenney, part of her winner’s package from Project Runway. Tipton explained to Brit + Co, “Working with JCPenney was quite the experience! But at the end of the day, they’re a corporation, so there were a lot of hands-on things and lots of people approvals had to go through.” In short, she quickly became more aware of the business side of fashion, handling every aspect from design to production and manufacturing.
Fast forward a year, and Tipton’s newest line is available via her website and more closely embodies her own personal style. “I really wanted to have fun with this collection and I wanted to create things that people could add to whatever they had and I wanted to get back to the basics,” she tells us.
The 15-piece collection ranges in size from 14 to 30, and includes floral bodysuits, sheer skirts, biker shorts, and shirt dresses — just to name a few — with prices ranging from $24 to $99. Accessibility and price point were important for Tipton, as she explains, “I know what it’s like to not be able to have something, whether it’s because of finances or size. Both of those things were very important to me and were always in the front of my mind when creating this collection.”
The designer recognizes the changes that have taken place in the plus-size fashion industry; fellow Project Runway alum Christian Siriano is also an advocate for plus-size bodies in fashion. But Tipton admits, “Being a woman that actually wears the clothes I design is what keeps me going.“ She’s excited to continue to create beautiful — and affordable — items for people in her community.
Will you pick up something from Tipton’s new line? Tell us @BritandCo.
(Photos via Ashley Nell Tipton)