Today marks the official start of the third annual Full Figured Fashion Week in New York City. Created by Gwen Devoe, a former plus-sized model turned model coach and manager, the three day presentation will feature designs from across the globe in sizes 12 and up.

After a successful run last year, this week’s event is practically sold out and there are 1,000 anticipated guests for the finale show. Devoe created the week in order to highlight the models, fashions and consumers that are oft forgot by the traditional Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. She told the New York Daily News “Plus-size women in America want fashionable, well-made clothes. We have money to spend and we’re happy to give it to the designers and stores who help us celebrate our curves.”

This weeks festivities include sample sales, trunk shows and even a shopping crawl for full-figured gals, with everything from swimwear to formal dresses up for grabs. While department stores and national plus-sized chains have a reputation for frumpy, matronly clothing, the designers highlighted in Full Figured Fashion week are committed to making sure their customers have the same access to fly wares as smaller women.

While Vogue Italia featured a dope spread of plus-sized models in a recent issue (and even on the cover!), there is still much progress to be made in diversifying the face of fashion. What is also refreshing about Full Figured Fashion Week is the fact that many of the models actually wear plus sizes; often times, full-figured models are only “plus” in comparison to the super-slim traditional models and wear sizes 8-10, which are readily available in non-plus clothing stores and collections.

Check out this video from last year’s event:

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