We celebrate actors and musicians through the Oscars and Grammys. But what about celebrities in the plus-size industry?
The answer lies in the prestigious Full Figured Industry Awards. (And, yes friends, there’s still time to get your ticket to the action-packed November 6 virtual event.)
The Full Figured Industry Awards (FFIAs) is the most prestigious red carpet event in the plus-size and big and tall industry.
FFIA Founder Twana Blassingame is a Full Figured Industry
The event was founded by Queen Size Magazine CEO Tawana Blassingame, a passionate entrepreneur who is one of the most beloved figures in the plus world. (She’s more than awesome!) Game Changer
She established the event to give much-needed recognition to the artists, designers, models, bloggers, photographers and other heavy hitters in the industry.
“I wanted to do my part in ensuring that the celebrities in our industry are recognized and honored for all of their hard work and sacrifices. Our industry is overlooked on a regular basis. We can’t wait for the fashion industry to see us,” says Blassingame.
In true Tawana Blassingame style, the FFIAs is a top notch ceremony with all the bells and whistles. “I wanted to do it on a grand scale. There are so many celebrities in our own backyard and I felt like it was time that we had an award ceremony for us. I wanted to create an experience much like the award ceremonies we see on TV,” she says.
2021 is the Second Year of the Full Figured Industry Awards
The event began in 2019 and quickly became one of the hottest events in the industry. “Our inaugural event in 2019 was everything that I prayed it would be and more. We had a sold out event. The industry really showed up for it, which confirmed what we thought when we created the Full Figured Industry Awards; this is what the industry needed,” she adds.
And while this year’s event is virtual due to the pandemic, it is still top notch. “Although we are going virtual this year, our plan is to make the event as live and interactive as we possibly can,” says Blassingame.
Some awards presented during the ceremony will be: Male and Female Model of the Year, Male and Female Designer of the Year, Male and Female Stylist of the Year (both hair and fashion), Boutique of the Year, Photographer of the Year, Makeup Artist of the Year (and more).
Winners are chosen by a committee of distinguished industry professionals.
“We have a voting committee that will go through every single nomination to perform background checks. Not criminal background checks,” she chuckles. “Just making sure that they fit the qualifications. The voting committee then chooses the top four qualified nominees and votes based on their qualifications and experience.”
Five Outstanding Contributors to the Full Figured Industry Will Be Honored
In addition, this year’s event includes five honoree awards in the categories of: Confidence, Entrepreneurial, Lifetime Achievement, Iconic, and Outstanding Retail Brand.
Lane Bryant: Outstanding Retail Brand Award
This year’s Outstanding Retail Brand Award recipient is one of our favorites, women’s retail chain Lane Bryant. “The committee chose Lane Bryant because their brand has been innovative through product selection and inclusive in their campaigns,” says Blassingame.
Lane Bryant’s roots date back to 1904 when dressmaker Lena Bryant opened a shop on Fifth Avenue. It was later incorporated in 1914. In the company’s own words, “no other brand can say they were started by a woman even before women had the right to vote.” It is still a leader in the plus-size industry today, toting the brand standard “Style with Solutions.”
“It is such an honor to receive an award that recognizes the incredible work and tireless dedication of our team. Our purpose is to create confidence so that every woman achieves what she wants and deserves,” says Marcy Schaffir, President of Lane Bryant.
Terri Murray: Lifetime Achievement Award
Legendary plus-size model Terri Murray, who originally gained fame as a Lane Bryant fit model, will also be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
“The Lifetime Achievement Award was created to recognize the excellence, leadership and contributions of our pioneers in the industry. Pioneers who have paved the way for many of the professionals we see in the industry today. Terri Murray has proven that you can be glamorous at any size or age and continues selflessly to mentor and inspire change for the better of the industry,”notes Blassingame.
Murray feels honored to have been chosen.
“As I often say, dream on and dream big. The plus-size fashion industry must continue to push to be seen, and the Full Figured Industry Awards is essential to that push. The Full Figured Industry Awards gives us an opportunity to surround ourselves with women and men who have been leaders in the industry and learn with every opportunity we have,” says Murray.
Other honorees include: Icon of the Year Madeline Jones (Editor in Chief of Plus Model Magazine), Entrepreneur of the Year Joe Freeman (CEO of MedZone/Zone Naturals), and Keesha Monique Codling Confidence Award recipient Catherine Ashly (CEO of PLUSIZEMEPLZ and Catherine Ashly Beauty).
Sponsors of the 2021 Full Figured Industry Awards include: Lane Bryant, Billboard Buzzing, Hanes Hosiery, Shapermint, ORS Atlanta, Bandelettes, Enchantes Closet Boutique, Hope’s Soap, District of Curves, Zenergy, MSNICKEETHEBRAND, Lala Faces Cosmetics, Kelly’s Kloset, Adakali, Curvy Chic Closet, Fat Fashionable and Thick, Silver Fox Model Camp and You See It Eyewear.
Don’t miss out on this once-a-year event. Be part of something more glamorous, more representative and more over-the-top than anything else that happens in the plus-size Industry. It is because of the businesses and individuals recognized here that plus-size women are seeing more inclusive sizing, design and shopping opportunities. Support these trail-blazers.