What started out as a conversation between two full-figured women sharing their concerns about the desire for jaw-dropping styles in their sizes, sparked an interest which Alecia Brown never saw coming. With this bold and powerful movement designed to celebrate ‘kurvy’ and ‘k-onfident’ women, Flair steps into the closet of Kurvez by Tina Boutique to discover more about its innovative and inclusive approach to fashion.
“Providing modern fashion for plus-size women is very important to me. The fashion industry has created a stereotype surrounding ‘plus-size’, categorising them as curvy women and leading them to believe that trendy, quality fashion is only for women who wear straight sizes,” Brown told Flair.
Motivated by an entrepreneurial mindset, she was encouraged by her best friend to start a business. So she journeyed into the sale of fragrances, soaps and lotions from Bath and Body Works, before finding her true passion for fashion. Set on breaking the conventions of style, she set out on a path to redefine the fashion scale of luxury plus comfort for the full-figured woman.
“At least 70 per cent of customers have no idea what size they wear. And sometimes they don’t even know what they want,” she explained, adding, “But by listening to them, finding out the occasion, whether it’s a special one or they just want to buy something casual, I am able to dress them accordingly.”
The chic and versatiles pieces range from maxis to minidresses; leggings sets; bodysuits and pants suits; jeans, tops, swimwear and lingerie. “I stock a little bit of everything. Let’s just say my boutique focuses on different personalities for all generations and styles,” she revealed.
Full-figured fashionistas are transported to a shopping paradise in-store or on the online platforms. Her biggest obstacle to date is supplying the demand for extended plus sizes, like 4XL and 5XL. The fashion industry, she confessed, is quite biased, setting the average size under the plus size category to 1X, 2X and 3XL.
Although this store owner admits that she was never one for fashion, Brown is a firm believer that fashion is a statement that shows the type of person you are and how you express yourself.
Regarding the boutique’s moniker, Brown said that she had always loved the name Tina. In 2008, she gave herself that name. In creating the identity of her business, building a brand that would be remembered was the ultimate aim. “The name popped up in my head, but it’s the spelling of the name that stands out. When you think of plus- size fashion, you would immediately think of Kurvez By Tina,” she declared.
The emergence of COVID-19 and the global pandemic that followed, which seemed to threatened other entities with closure, had a positive impact on Brown’s business. “It was during that time that I had my highest peak in sales. Most customers were working from home, so what I did was provide comfort clothes, such as biker sets, legging sets, and basic dresses.”
Her hope is to take this success worldwide.
For customers who believe that they can’t step out in fashion because of their size, Brown had this to say, “The size in the clothes is just a number.”
Follow at: Instagram @kurvezbytinaboutique