Monif and Elaine Clarke are the owners and operators of the New York based high fashions of Monif C. Together they produce plus size clothing available in fine boutiques and online. The twenty seven year old business woman turned designer Monif Clarke took some time out of her hectic Spring launch schedule to share some of her views on fashion and what Monif C. has to offer the plus size consumer.
How important is style for a plus size woman?
Style is very important. As frivolous as fashion is, it affects how you feel about yourself. In addition, the image you project to the world may not speak volumes of how fabulous you are if you look dowdy. If you look at these popular makeover shows, look how much a dress, a new hair do, and some lip gloss lifts spirits. Plus size women deserve to look equally fabulous.
What's your impression of plus size fashion?
Plus Size fashion has come along way, but it still lacks its own identity. By bringing Monif C. to the market, we are not only providing plus size fashion, but we see a time when plus size women will not be marginalized on the outskirts of the fashion industry, but are actually the ones that set the trends. I want the Monif C. woman to be the one that walks in the room and everyone wants to know what she is wearing, and where she got it from, thin women and plus size women alike. We are already seeing this idea come to life. Actually just recently there was a boutique that carried our Fall/Winter line and the boutique owner told me a customer who was about a size 8 came in inquiring about the "Nelli" Ruched Dress. She told me the customer was very disappointed when she found out the dress starts at a size 14! That is what we bring and hope to encourage within the plus size community.
What is high fashion style?
When we say Monif C. Plus Sizes is high fashion style, essentially we are saying we are a fashion collection that just happens to be for the plus size woman. We do not try to imitate "skinny-girl" lines. We do not simply grade up a size 8 to a size 18 and think the fit will be
correct. We have our own fashion identity. We make contemporary fashion that is designed, sized, and styled for plus size women.
Can you share three fashion tips for plus size women?
1) Find out what colors look best on you and experiment with wearing them daily.
2) Just because the media or the fashion industry says you don't look good in something, try it out and see for yourself. A lot of women shy away from white clothing and horizontal stripes. Or they don't want to show their arms or knees. I say, your body and your sense of style are your own, indulge it and ignore the fashion industry. Figure out what looks good on you by trying it on and taking a Polaroid of yourself. If what you see looking back to you looks good, go with it.
3) Always wear a shaper under fitted clothing. Many manufacturers are making smooth shapers without boning, and they make everything look better. I have size 8 friends who wouldn't leave the house without control top hose or a belly cincher, and I think plus size women shouldn't feel different about wear the right foundation garments to make their clothes fit better.
Read about Monif C. On Business.
Visit Monif C.'s online boutique.