When we hear stories of successful people, we can usually pinpoint a pivotal yet difficult time in their life that helped launch them into greatness, even when it was intended to destroy them. Gwen Devoe had one of those moments in high school when she was kicked off her basketball team after gaining some weight. Little did she know that, one day, she would be one of the most recognized names, faces, and bodies in the plus size fashion industry!
Gwen’s modelling career started when she walked for a designer friend of hers, and it has continued to build and grow as she’s taken on just about every conceivable role in the plus size fashion industry.
Gwen really came to prominence when she realized that so many people in the audience at fashion shows looked just like she did. They were normal, everyday women who wanted to know more about fashion and simply look great. She knew then that she wanted to stay in the plus size industry when she finished modelling and give these women just what they yearned for.
This very passion is what led her to create Full Figured Fashion Week (FFFWeek), which started in New York and has since expanded from a niche event into a week-long phenomenon with hundreds of partners, sponsors, and contributors. It started as a small affair that appeared bold and different, and has continued to thrive year after year. Now in its eighth year, FFFWeek is officially a major event on the fashion calendar. It is a New York fashion staple, known to many as the plus size Oscars.
Gwen has seen the rise of the plus size fashion scene and ridden its waves. She is now using her experience to help others who wish to model. Having been there in the early days, when models had to bring their own clothes, to having played a crucial role in making FFFWeek a showcase of the best in plus size talents it is today, Gwen Devoe is helping the next generation of models bring plus size fashion to the mainstream. With her training, new paragons of beauty and fashion are able to understand how to build their own brand and represent themselves in a professional manner. The internet and social media are also giving models a chance to appeal to people that look just like them too. It is inspiring countless women to look and feel fabulous!