Oooh, we’ve got a treat for you today ladies! We just caught up with one of our favourite Simply Be designer – Anna Scholz! She kindly answered some of our burning questions, so we’ve put them all down on paper (and the blog) for you to see! Enjoy!
Where do you get your inspiration from when you begin to design a collection?
You can find inspiration in everything, a stamp, a cushion, a painting, on your travels… wherever. Last week flying back from Berlin I thought about doing a ‘cityscape by night’ print in my next collection…my mind is constantly busy and my eyes always open. My favourite place is Portobello market where I love hunting for vintage finds.
What is your main consideration when designing an item of clothing?
That it is going to be flattering for the woman who is going to wear it. I love accentuating curves.
What do you love most about fashion design?
Print and colour! I love experimenting with new colours and shapes, discovering new favourites in my wardrobe and making things clash… I love how you can reflect your mood with your outfit. I love making women feel better about themselves.
What is it about working with Simply Be that you enjoy the most?
That there are very few restrictions; my wholesale buyers are a lot more conservative than my Simply Be buyers. Our Simply Be customer is not afraid to show a bit of flesh and loves dressing up. We sell halternecks, strapless and low cut dresses and Simply Be can always offer the matching lingerie.
You’ve sold ranges both in the US and in Europe. Are attitudes towards fuller-figured women diffferent across the two continents?
I actually think that the Europeans are a lot more directional and fashion forward than the Americans. The US plus size market is dominated by large chains who are more afraid to take risks. There is however a huge responsive online plus community in the US who is pushing for change.
Do you think that attitudes are changing?
Yes I do! It is a slow proces, but there has been a shift in the media in the last year and curvy women have been included in many more high end publications. Vogue Italia has launched Vogue Curvy online and US Marie Claire have a curvy blogger. Models like Crystal Renn, Lizzie Miller and Ashley Graham are breaking down barriers of glossy publications. Just check out our http://blog.annascholz.com/ for constant updates.
Whilst you were studying fashion you also worked as a plus size model – how did you find this? Are there any experiences you would like to share?
It was a great way to get an insight into this part of the industry and also to be able to earn a living while studying in expensive London. I was extremely frustrated by the lack of stylish clothing I was made to model (I modelled from 1988-1995 and the collections available then were a far cry from what they are today) and kept constantly thinking that I could do this better… I made a few great contacts and the whole experience reinforced my decision to set up my own label.
There’s a wonderful ‘curvy community’ of bloggers and tweeters online – what are your favourite blogs and who do you follow on Twitter?
Social media is hugely important for our market and there are too many great ones to name. We blog, tweet and facebook daily! My favourites are our own blog of course, Madison Plus and Vogue Curvy Italia, and you can follow me on Twitter Anna_Scholz or join our Facebook Fan page Anna Scholz Fashion.
Are there any words of wisdom you’d like to share with aspiring plus size fashion designers or aspiring plus size models?
Believe in yourself and follow your dream. Bring it on, competition is healthy and we need more diversity