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Plus-Size CEO Of Noir Fashion Week Rethinks New York Fashion Week

  • September 14, 2023

As we head into New York Fashion Week, let’s hope that things are looking better than last season when it comes to body size representation. Back in Spring, NYFW was getting called out for some of the lowest plus-size visibility on the runway in recent history. Meanwhile Noir Fashion Week was highlighting underrepresented designers – and underrepresented bodies – at the very same time in New York.

Nichole M. Bess is the founder of Noir Fashion Week. She sees her brainchild as a response to the lack of diversity in the fashion world broadly and at NYFW specifically. Bess says that NFW is a platform for the “overlooked and what some would deem as underqualified. I see NFW as an opportunity to uncover the diamond in the ruff.” Noir Fashion Week was built on Bess’ love of fashion and her drive to give global visibility to marginalized people.

At 19, Bess was interning with Russell and Kimora Lee Simmons as a fashion designer. They later introduced her to Naomi Campbell, which ultimately led to a pivot into public relations. “I started my own PR firm right before my 20th birthday,” shares Bess. “As I was studying to become a fashion designer, I found a love for making dreams come true through the power of media visibility and storytelling. As a budding publicist I knew this was why I was created. I committed full-time to this newfound passion and went all in. I booked clients like Wolford, Saks Fifth Avenue, Betsey Johnson, Agatha of Paris, Deon and Pilar Sanders and many more.”

Bess says she hopes that NFW will outlive her and become known

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