Last Thursday, after a few weeks of build-up and anticipation on my end (and a couple years for the AVA & VIV team), Target's new plus-size line, AVA & VIV was unveiled at a very swanky party at the Standard East's penthouse. The setting was incredible - you walked in to see an enormous flower wall (hello wedding/life inspo!), models wearing great head-to-toe looks from the collection, passed appetizers and cocktails, and lots of bloggers and journalists excited to see the new wares. I was truly honored to be co hosting the event with Gabi of GabiFresh and Chastity of Garner Style, two girls who I not only consider my friends, but who seriously inspire me on a regular basis. It feels amazing to work together and have the opportunity to have an enormous brand like Target bring us in to give feedback and help develop future collections.
The energy was amazing, and the buzz was clear: even if AVA & VIV isn't your personal style, we'd all (journalists, bloggers, shoppers who took to social media to have their voice heard) contributed to an ongoing change that has made progress in a big way, and we're succeeding at creating more options in the plus-size market. (More on this below).
I was so excited about the event, that I even splurged on getting my hair and makeup done by Glamsquad, which made for a great excuse to indulge in the act of taking selfies with my friends at the party -- the photographer caught a candid of me mid-selfie, HA!
Because there's been a lot of misinformation, I wanted to take the opportunity to address a couple things I've responded to via Twitter and Instagram comments. We were brought in as consultants for the AVA & VIV line in December, long after the collection had been in development, design, and production was well underway. Still, the team at Target was very eager to get our opinions and feedback, and we were all pretty blunt to share what we were excited about but also what we never want to see again in plus-size departments. Still, I think this is enormous progress and a huge step in the right direction - plus what we've seen so far from Fall looks amazing (and 100% consistent with my personal style), and will probably be even better once our pointed feedback (and yours!) has a chance to make it back to the drawing board before production starts. One of my goals in working in the plus-size market has always been for there to be more options across the board. Sometimes that means that not every collection, every brand, or every line will cater to my personal style needs - but I know that more options means someone else's style needs are being met. And for the record, there are quite a few AVA & VIV pieces I love and can't wait to wear in my real life - the black and white striped tulip skirt, the joggers, the striped eyelet tops, the distressed denim, the black and white printed pants, and I love the blazers! Plus, did you see those adorable printed bikinis? Yes, please! That we can now walk into a store and try things on is enormously exciting, (another thing I keep seeing falsely reported is that this will only be online - wrong! The collection will have devoted in-store selection in all sizes!)
The launch event was the perfect way to kick off a partnership with the team at Target and celebrate their hard work and progress. You have to trust me when I say that the people behind the brand are some of the most passionate, hard working people I've ever met in this business, and they are completely committed to getting it right. I'm back in sunny LA now, but celebrating this collection with panoramic views of New York City made for a personal highlight in my life.
This post is part of an ongoing partnership with Target.
All content and opinions are my own.