I honestly never thought I'd be in a position to interview anyone, never mind the stalwart of plussize fashion, Anna Scholz.
I had the pleasure to meet her at Plus London 2 last February:
Where we rocked her purple leopard print dress to show how amazing it looked on different sizes! She is a delight, and still so passionate about an industry she has been a part of for 15 years (roughly).
When I was offered the opportunity to interview her, I was blown away. Here is what we discussed:
K: These are exciting times in the plus size industry: what is exciting you / inspiring you at the moment?
A: I am happy to see the voice of the plus size community getting louder and stronger, there is much more involvement from bloggers and ‘real’ women within the industry. Collaborations between bloggers and designers with companies like Simply Be, Evans and Swimsuits for All are making sure that (plus size) women get products they actually want.
I am very much looking forward to the launch of our brand new lingerie collection for Simply Be in Spring 14.
K: Are you likely to go down the route of some designers / brands and utilise bloggers / your fan base more?
A: I loved having the blogger event in our studio as part of Plus London Two and am hoping to be involved in Plus London Three as well. I am always inspired by listening to people who look at our brand from a different perspective.
Social media offers us a great exchange with our fan base.
K: With plus size fashion being much more accessible at the moment, will you return to selling your clothes in department stores, or will you keep your brand an online brand?
A: It was not my choice to stop selling in department stores like Harrods, Selfridges and Saks Fifth Avenue, unfortunately these stores all closed their plus size departments.
I do believe that some customers much prefer to shop in store and touch, feel and try on clothes with the right guidance, and we still sell to a number of boutiques worldwide, which offer that service.
Simply Be has also started to open a number of stores and is looking to increase their number of stores throughout the year.
We are constantly working on improving our presence as an online retailer and create the best possible shopping experience for curvy women.
K: I am lucky to have a number of stores near me, so can vouch for the pleasure of shopping in store!
What is your favourite trend right now?
A: I love a bit of neon! Accessories, accents in prints or whole garments!
Also adore the printed trouser suit.
Just wish the temperatures this summer would make it easier to get the sandals out again!
K: What do you prefer to design - clothes that flatter, or clothes that flaunt, or do you think clothes can do both?
A: Oh I think clothes can do both, as you want to flaunt your own best assets and flatter at the same time. I am all about curve enhancing and showing you off to your best potential.
I also keep in mind problem areas and add a little pleat / ruching detail here or there to help out with lumps and bumps.
Curvy women come in so many different shapes and sizes and what suits one woman doesn’t necessarily suits the next, so when I design a range, I try and keep different body shapes in mind so we have something for everyone.
K: Do you design items with people in mind - thinking of Lisa Riley being seen in your clothes a lot recently - have you ever thought "Dawn French would look amazing in something like..." for example?
A: We do dress Dawn French as well :) and funnily enough I have seen both of them a lot in our emerald green snake tunic from last winter.
I don’t have particular celebrities in mind when designing, but I do think about occasions and know we always need to throw in a few red carpet dresses and standout pieces for different appearances.
K: Anna, it has been a pleasure, and one last question: You appeared in British Plus Size Fashion Week - how was that experience, and do you have any plans to feature there again next year?
A: I loved the networking at British Plus Size Fashion Week and enjoyed the panel discussion. It was great to see so many people come together and make the event a success. However the show was a little bit of a let down, as the organisation was rather poor, but should they get a proper producer for next time I am happy to be involved again.
There we have it, it was honestly an honour to be asked to do this and I hope that you enjoyed reading it as much as I did being involved in it!
Also, a word of advice - however well prepared you think your questions are, research more :)
Much love my lovelies,