Plus-size fashion blogger Gabi Gregg - better known as Gabi Fresh - designs fabulous "fatkinis” for women sizes 12 to 24 that are making a splash.
"I tell my girls to forget every fashion rule,” says Gregg, 29, whose fourth Swim Sexy collection with SwimsuitsForAll goes on sale Tuesday.
"The message that [larger ladies] get when it comes to fashion is constantly what not
to wear: If you’ve got big hips, minimize them by wearing black; don’t
wear this cut because it makes you look bigger,” she explains.
"Break out of that! Play with those trends you love. You can rock a lot of things you didn’t think you could.”
Gregg went viral in May 2012 after posting a photo gallery of 31
full-figured women in titillating two-piece suits that showcased their
curves rather than hiding them.
She’s since become the "Queen of the Bikini” with her swimwear that is
structured enough to support up to a size H bust (so that no woman’s cup
runneth over) - while also being flirty and fashion-forward enough to
"I definitely make statement swimwear that my girls usually cann’t find
anywhere else in their size,” says Gregg. "We have a few cool options
[generally] but you konw there’s not a lot out there.”
The beauty is in the details, such as flattering high waistlines that
are on-trend right now, underwire bras to keep "the girls” in place, and
illusion mesh paneling on some suits to control how much flesh a lady
wants to flash.
Gregg’s new 14-piece collection includes 12 bikini and one-piece styles
in flirty flamingo and lips patterns, as well as two coordinating cover
ups. They are all priced around $100
Her personal favorites include a lilac bikini printed with black leaves
and an athletic racing stipe, as well as a khaki one-piece without
underwires that’s suited for smaller busts.
"It’s different from anything I’ve ever done before” she reveals. "I’m
always looking to hear what my girls have to say, and this collection is
the best one yet.”
She’s encouraged by the strides made for plus-sized shoppers over the
past year, including Ashley Nell Tipton winning the last season of
"Project Runway,” Forever 21 debuting its first plus-sized activewear
line, and plus-sized models like Ashley Graham appearing in Sports
Illustrated’s Swimsuit Edition.
But it’s not enough.
"So many girls just want the same shopping experience as their
[skinnier] friends, and for some reason, people are either close-minded
about designing for us, or they just don’t want to figure out this
market,” she says. "They need to step up.”