Finding an outfit that looks great, fits and makes you feel fantastic is a wonderful feeling, and a local fashion designer hopes to provide more of those moments for plus-sized women.
London, Ontario fashion designer Rakhee Chopra started her plus-sized fashion line as a side business. “I started designing for myself. I have been plus-sized since I was 10 years old,” Chopra explained.
After being laid off from her previous job and realizing the entrepreneurial opportunity, she decided to pursue her business full-time.
“I thought there are so many women out there who were going through the same troubles as I was trying to find clothes which were trendy,” Chopra explained, “I decided this would be a very good opportunity to take things into my hands and try to fill that gap.”
Chopra said she feels great about providing trendy, business casual clothing for plus-sized women. She wants to design more clothes in a variety of styles. “The response that I’ve been getting so far has been amazing,” she said.
Chopra hopes to combat negative messages about body image in the media and what she called the “diet industry” with her work. She noted that “the industry has had such a bad impact” during the past decade. She also felt the industry ignores women wearing size 12 or higher.
“It’s really, really hard starting at a very young age. My kids are skinny as hell, but they will be looking in the mirror and will be saying ‘Am I fat?’” she said, “There is no comparison from you to me or her or another person. We are all unique and beautiful in certain ways.”
Empowerment through fashion
Her messages of self-love and finding your own kind of beautiful were present at the Empower Your Curves Fashion Show. There was a full house at the upper level of 121 Studios (the former Novack’s). Five of Chopra’s friends modelled outfits with pink, polka dot, black, and floral fabrics. They walked with smiles as guests cheered them on in encouragement.
Chopra said she had her friends show off their personalities as they showcased her clothing. “I’m not going to be like ‘Oh, don’t smile’ or anything like that because this is for average women and that’s what it’s about. I want to empower them. I want them to have the confidence that they were lacking.”
The fashion show proceeds support the Power of Hope. The organization helps families in need living in Oxford County, Perth County, Wellington County and Waterloo region.
Future fashion plans
Chopra plans to with launching a clothing line for cancer survivors.
She also wants to launch a self-love fashion consulting workshop called “Love Yourself”. She called it a whole day of “makeover, fun and loving yourself.”
“[Most] women when they wake up, no matter what size they are, they can’t look in the mirror and say “I’m beautiful.” I want to take that off. I want to show them that any woman can be beautiful,” she said.