Sunday, August 19The Voice of London

Project Runway Crowns Plus Size Queen Ashley Nell Tipton

By now you must have heard of Ashley Nell Tipton, the season 14 Project Runway winner. As a full(er)-figured girl, I’ve got to say I’m so excited to see Ashley represent.

Words: Tsakane Chabane,  Subeditor: Lauren Banton

One of my favourite challenges. She made this from Polaroids. (tumblr:
One of my favourite challenges. She made this from Polaroids. (tumblr:

Ms. Tipton like any other bigger girl, grew up wishing that the clothes they made for her body type were just as flattering and fun as clothes for smaller girls. So she began designing and making her own clothes with the help of her gran. When her gran passed away, Ashley entered Project Runway as a designer for plus size women.

Her time on Project Runway was quite tumultuous from winning a few of the challenges to coming last several times in a row. Regardless, Ashley persevered through the self-doubt and tears, and sewed her way into the finale at New York Fashion Week in Bryant Park last week.

And without fail, people took to social media to complain about her win, saying that she only won because the show was more interested in “making history” than with choosing “the best designer”. I’m getting flashbacks of when Whitney Thompson won America’s Next Top Model and media outlets criticised her and the show because she was plus size and her body type “wouldn’t work in the fashion industry”. Despite the negativity, Ashley is determined to get fashion for women who wear bigger sizes to be considered fierce and on par with the rest of the fashion industry.

Finding your style as a curvier woman is a challenge and thanks to women like Ashley Nell Tipton, looking fabulous is more accessible. However, Ashley is not alone in her crusade, more and more brands and designers are beginning to cater for the extremely “bootylicious”. And with the increase of curvy beauty & fashion bloggers and models, we can easily find style inspiration and “slay”.

George Lamberis Evanston-tumblr_tumblr_nxeo4uIwuH1ru2djio1_1280

Being full-figured needn’t feel like a burden anymore. So congratulations to Ashley, we’ll be watching out for your fashion line.