Fly Female Entrepreneur: Monif C.

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In a world where plus size clothing is often underwhelming, designer Monif C. creates pieces that are equal parts glamorous, practical and sophisticated. Launched in 2006 by the queen of curvy girl style, the eponymous brand is relatively new but has already established a strong market position. From the racks of Nordstrom to your favorite online stores, Monif C. is changing the look of plus size fashion one design at a time. Take notes as the Fly Female Entrepreneur shares her brand’s story:

In Her Shoes: Describe the Monif C. woman to us Twitter style (140 characters or less):

Monif C.: The Monif C. woman is glamorous, sexy, daring, confident. She loves to flaunt her curves, wear bright colors and play up her best assets.

In Her Shoes: What sets Monif C. apart from other full figure clothing brands?

Monif C.: What sets Monif C. apart from other full figured clothing lines is that we are a lifestyle brand. We don’t just sell clothes, we sell a lifestyle. When I design Monif C., I am thinking about my customer, where she travels, her daily wardrobe, and what she needs for cocktail functions. I design for her lifestyle. Also, since I am a full-figured woman, I am my customer and I just know if I design what I love, others will also!

In Her Shoes: We live in a society where women are in a constant struggle with their weight. How do you encourage women to embrace their curves?

Monif C.: I always say, you’ve got one body and one life to live, so live it and enjoy fashion! I encourage women to love their bodies. Confidence and sex appeal are something you nurture and sometimes you have to fake it until you make it. Even if you don’t feel 100% comfortable, know that most people don’t regardless of their size. Embracing who you are, all of you, is the best way to live a full life.

In Her Shoes: What is a day like in Monif C.’s shoes?

Monif C.: A day for me is BUSY! Monif C. is a company that manufactures, retails and wholesales our product to department stores so there are always meetings and different stakeholders to keep happy, starting with our customers who are our top priority. Let’s just say my day usually starts around 5:30-6am and doesn’t end until about 11pm.

In Her Shoes: Congrats on your new partnership with Nordstrom. How did this deal come to life and what does it entail?

Monif C.: Our partnership with Nordstrom came fairly organically. They actually approached us after a number of their customers tweeted that they’d like the Monif C. brand carried at Nordstrom. After six years of building this brand we were finally ready to partner with a big company such as Nordstrom. We are sold on Nordstrom.com and select stores across the United States.

In Her Shoes: List three things a woman should possess to obtain great style:

Monif C.: Great style comes from an inner knowing of who you are so my three things are: confidence, the courage to take risks, and a love of fashion.

In Her Shoes: If you could dress five curvy women deceased or living who would they be?

Monif C.: Oprah, Sophia Loren, Octavia Spencer, Marilyn Monroe, and Adele.

In Her Shoes: What is the biggest misconception about plus size fashion?

Monif C.: The biggest misconception about plus size fashion is that plus size women aren’t fashion forward. Most plus size retailers and department stores take little to no risks when buying and merchandising their plus size sections because they still believe that most plus size women want black, grey, taupe, and unattractive florals. Plus size women want the same trendy sexy clothing as their thinner counter parts! I really saw this to be true last spring when we introduced a two-piece high waisted plus size bikini and it sold out quicker than the one piece styles. It was by far our most popular swimsuit and we had to reproduce it twice to meet the demand. This is just confirmation that our philosophy of true fashion for the plus size woman is on point.

In Her Shoes: 2012 is winding down, what can we expect from your brand in the new year?

Monif C.: We’ve got a couple secret tricks up our sleeves for 2013 that I know will be awesome additions to the curvy woman’s wardrobe. Also expect to see us in more stores near you!

To learn more about Monif C. visit www.monifc.com.

As a New York City storyteller, filmmaker, digital content creator, and PR strategist, Renae Bluitt created "In Her Shoes" to empower and enlighten women committed to realizing their dreams.

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