|Ms. O. Tema the Founder and Creative Director of Plus-Fab rocking one of her original designs.|
As promised earlier this month I managed to secure an interview with Ms. Ouma Tema the founder of Plus-fab, the newest plus size fashion line in South Africa. Enjoy!
|Model wearing dress from the Plus-fab 2012 winter collection.|
One thing that struck me about you is the confidence you radiate. It’s unapologetic, honest confidence, for a big woman living in a world where big is not always considered beautiful, where did you get the boldness, to look societal standards of beauty in the face and say I am big and beautiful?
I grew up in this body; I don’t know myself in any other body except this one. Being sad and miserable about me was not an option the better option was loving and embracing myself. By doing so, people relate with me from that loving point.
What was the motivation behind starting the plus-fab fashion line
I was struggling to get clothes that spoke to a chic, sophisticated and fabulous plus size woman. Clothes I found were in the right size but never spoke to the fashionable me. I then decided to have my clothes made to my specifications for events such as parties and weddings which I had to attend. This resulted in the fuller figured women in my circle asking for my outfits (some willing to pay double the price value).Before I knew it Plus-Fab was born and you know what they say? THE REST IS HISTORY!
What are you hoping the line will do for plus women and for the plus industry in South Africa as a whole?
I am hoping it will help restore Fuller figured women’s confidence. THIS IS THEIR TIME TO SHINE! Life is too short to worry about having the perfect body, self love is key.
Where do you get the inspiration for all the gorgeous pieces in your collection? Is much of your personal style embodied in them? Do you draw inspiration from particular style icons?
I have a lot of style icons, women like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis who’s style is timeless and simple. I love Marilyn Monroe who brought sex appeal to the fore without showing a lot. I consider myself to be a simple and chic kind of girl, I mostly fuse-in my flair in all my designs and always want to create outfits that are practical and classy.
What kind of pieces could one find under the plus-fab line? Day dresses, Cocktail dresses, shoes, bags?
I make outfits that would take you to work and cocktail events without having to drive home to change. What I love most about my designs is that one can dress them up or down, which is a bonus if you ask me. Most importantly, my clothing is created to embrace our bodies not cover them up.
|Beautiful dress from the 2012 Plus-Fab winter collection|
What were the biggest challenges you encountered when starting this line and how did you circumvent them?
I am not sure if I am at a point where I can say I have managed to circumvent the challenges that come with what I do. However, the challenges encountered thus far are having to be everything at once and still maintaining the creativity and flair regardless.
Where do you think the South African plus size fashion industry is at the moment? Do you think stylistically it is doing well in representing women?
SA plus size fashion is still in its early stage of development. A lot of work still needs to be done, blogs and magazines are still shy or skeptical to come out in support or in recognition of our existence. It is as if we are made a huge favor by being featured anywhere in the mainstream media *turn off*. Thanks to blogs such as Voluptuous Chronicles, your work is commendable indeed.
What style advice do you have for plus women in order for them to best harness their strengths?
Self Love is important. When you honestly love yourself from Inside out you will treat yourself with love and that will show in how you carry yourself. You will treat your body differently (from the clothes you wear to the food you eat).I have insecurities too, however,I choose to love me for me, that translates in all I do, including how I dress.
What advice do you have for another plus woman who may be looking to delve into fashion design?
Fashion industry like any other industry is a Business, treat the industry as such.
Being humble and honest will always attract favor from God.
|Plus-fab models rocking the high low trend.|