Everybody Belongs at Boston’s First Plus-Size Fashion Show
Updated: Nov 26
By Erica Schwartz
Millions of people live in plus-sized bodies, but the fashion industry hasn’t acknowledged this until recently. Boston’s first-ever plus-size-only fashion show, “Every Body Belongs: Boston Embraces the Curve,” created a space for models who typically aren’t cast in runway shows due to their size, amplifying an industry effort to be more inclusive.
Female-owned small businesses in the Boston area provided all the clothes for the sold-out Oct. 7 show at the Boston Marriott Long Wharf Hotel. Models wore casual outfits from Looks by Lopez, a Wakefield-based women’s boutique, intimates and swimsuits by Bloom Lingerie, a Cohasset-based lingerie, swimsuit, and pajama store, athleisure from Seaav, an online eco-friendly athletic wear brand, and intricate gowns by Bella Sera Bridal.
The night began with a performance from Seacoast Stilettos, a Boston-based dance studio with a focus on female empowerment.
Ashley Elizabeth Gregory, the founder of Big Day Besties, a Boston-based event content creation service and the main producer of the event, spoke at the event about her experiences as a plus-size model in New York Fashion Week, Miami Swim Week, and London Fashion Week.
“It’s always been very interesting to me that there aren’t as many inclusive opportunities in our city,” Gregory said. “That was really the whole brainchild of this show.”
Breaking from a traditional catwalk runway, models walked in a semi-circle around the seafront ballroom. Kristie Reynolds, founder of Humankind Casting, a Boston-based casting agency focused on inclusivity and diversity, served as emcee for the event, announcing each brand’s lineup.
Fashion professionals, local college students, fashion fanatics, and friends and family of the models filled the audience.
Marissa Perkins, a casting producer with Humankind Casting, was part of the month-long casting process for the show.
“It was a big turnout — everybody was absolutely amazing,” Perkins said. “We’re sad that we couldn’t take all of them.”
Via, founder of the eponymous artisan coffee brand VIA™️ Guatemala Coffee, LLC — she prefers to go by that name alone — served as one of the many sponsors for the event. A sample of VIA coffee was featured in the VIP gift bags, alongside faux lashes, spa discount codes and makeup.
“I’m happy to see a different representation of ‘standard beauty’ from what we’re told,” she said.
Dynasty Models, Humankind Casting, and Big Day Besties hosted the event as part of Boston Fashion Week 2023.