Madison Plus is an online fashion portal for all degrees of plus size fashionistas from mildly interested in fashion to those overtly addicted to fashion. The accompanying blog (The Dish) connects readers to the forefront of plus size fashion by interpreting the ins and outs of fashion trends so the rest of us can easily integrate them into our lifestyles. It also brings readers closer to the designers who create the clothes and the models who wear them.
Aimee Cheshire is the master mind and main voice behind Madison Plus (but there is a whole team of talented individuals who help her out), which has grown up over the years to be more than a blog but a fashion forward place to shop for designer styles. She took some time out of her curvy schedule to answer a few questions for Large and Lovely, BellaOnline:
Moe: According to your Madison Plus profile, one of the reasons you created this plus size fashion portal was because you dreamed of "creating a new way to help women" like you "who struggle with weight and clothing issues". Do you feel like you have accomplished your goal in the few years you have been publishing?
Aimee Cheshire: I think it is a goal that will always be in progress, but I do believe that I have provided a place for women to come to, to feel equal to their peers in the world of fashion.
Moe: You run an online site but a lot of what you do does not happen online. How do you balance your online and offline personae?
Aimee Cheshire: While the website is the most visible part of the business, there is an incredible amount of work done offline behind the scenes. I attend many fashion industry events, meet with various companies, and there is an enormous amount of networking required. To get ahead in fashion you have to be a very sociable person, but happily I enjoy both parts of my role equally.
Moe: Madison Plus is not only about clothes. You have introduced readers to many of the hottest models out there, Ashley Graham for one, but you also feature every day women who challenge fashion and fashion companies like Nancy Upton who designed a photo rebuttal of sorts in response to American Apparel's model search marketing. I thought she was beautiful, funny, brave, and creative but I am not sure everyone would have found her "pie" so amusing. How to you choose to run a story that has the potential to turn off some of your regular readers?
Aimee Cheshire: I go by what I find interesting and what I think my viewers will enjoy, I tend to stay away from overly sensational news topics that I feel don't forward the plus industry or just generally don't interest me. My viewers trust in my eye and like the edited content I bring them. Also all of our unique content is where the fun is for us. It's like a continuous shopping spree.
Moe: What do you think scares women most about fashion; especially plus size fashion?
Aimee Cheshire: I think when women are plus they tend to want to dress the body that they are not currently in, therefore creating a boundary between them and fashion. What I've learned through personal experience is it's so important to find those pieces for your closet now, embrace fashion now and whatever goals you want in life will start coming when you stand a little taller.
Moe: What is your favorite trend this coming season and how are you going to get the most use out of it?
Aimee Cheshire: I love the black and white uniform trend. I feel it will be easy to pull pieces from my closet already without having to invest in too much newness. Black is a New Yorker's best friend and I have fully embraced it.
Moe: What trend do you really want plus size women to try this fall/winter? Avoid?
Aimee Cheshire: The trend that all plus size women should definitely embrace is brights! No matter what your silhouette it is possible to find a bright pant in a color that makes you smile, paired with a neutral top if you don’t want to get too adventurous. Or if you're willing to take that next step I am loving the color combos of poppy red with pink or blue and orange. I can't tell anyone to avoid anything, from what I've seen all is possible with the right fit.
Moe: Is there someone in the fashion industry who you haven't met but would love to sit down with for an afternoon and talk fashion for big girls?
Aimee Cheshire: Anna Wintour would be fabulous to chat with, she has barely dipped her toe into featuring plus women other than the annual April Shape issue. She has so much power to influence the fashion industry; her embracing just one plus designer can help in creating this whole industry and provide a new experience for all the young ladies out there flipping through the pages of Vogue.
Moe: Let's close with a word of advice to plus size women about living life and loving fashion. What do you wish someone had told you ten years ago when you were trying to find your fashionable self?
Aimee Cheshire: The problems and the issues you deal with when you are plus, that you fantasize would be gone when you are skinny, are just untrue. Weight loss does not heal those problems, just constant work on your interaction with the world.
Visit Aimee Cheshire at Madison Plus.