After far too many years of perpetuating unrealistic body standards and promoting a culture of eating disorders, the leaders of the fashion world are slowly becoming more size-inclusive. However, unsurprisingly, this change has only come after years of women (and men) fighting for this inclusion. And the co-founder of Dia & Co, Nadia Boujarwah, has been one of the women on the front lines vying for the popularity of body positive fashion.
When Boujarwah and Lydia Gilbert first founded the Dia & Co subscription service, they set out to meet an obvious need: accessible and fashion-forward clothes for women of all sizes. Each woman who signs up for the subscription service creates a profile that states her size, color and style preferences, and budget. Then, she gets a monthly box of curated clothing she can pick from (you only keep it if you like it).
The brand has expanded far beyond the subscription service itself, and recently partnered up to promote the new Rebel Wilson x Angels fashion line. HelloGiggles got a chance to catch up with Boujarwah before Dia & Co’s runway show at Curvycon during New York Fashion Week.
She told us her grandma was her original fashion inspiration, and how excited she is about the future of fashion.
HelloGiggles: What are your first memories of experiencing fashion?
Nadia Boujarwah: My first memories of fashion are of my grandmother. My grandmother grew up in Havana, Cuba in the 1930s, and she has always had a classic, spunky Carribean vibe. The earliest memories I have were watching her get ready in the morning.
HG: Did you have a moment where you realized you wanted to be part of the fashion world?
NB: So I always knew what my sense of style was. I think one of the things that was formative for me was that I wasn’t able to realize that vision of style in the sizes I was shopping. The styles just weren’t available in my size, and what was available in my size didn’t represent me at all. That’s ultimately why we founded Dia, we wanted all women to realize their unique sense of style.
HG: What gave you the idea for the subscription service format?
NB: The first step was figuring out how we could make shopping most comfortable for our customers, and that was shopping from home. So the subscription format came from there.
HG: What does the process of curating each woman’s subscription involve?
NB: So our customers share a really incredible amount about themselves with us. Everything including their style preferences, their sizing preferences, their color preferences, their social media handle, we really use all that information to try and understand where she’s at in her style journey. Then we match her with a stylist who we think is a good fit. Our goal is to help her realize her personal style.
HG: What are some of the plus-size designers you recommend that have inspired you?
NB: Many of the vanguards in the plus-size community are the bloggers and the writers. I think we have two really incredible lines coming down the runway, one from Rebel Wilson, who I think is such an incredible role model of what it looks like to be spunky, comfortable, and funny — and everything in one package. Also, Tanesha from Girl With Curves has a distinct and beautiful perspective on style and design that came through in this collection.
HG: What are some of your favorite trends right now?
NB: I think my style changes often. I think style changes with who you are, as a matter of expression. Sometimes I’m feeling classy and sometimes I’m feeling edgy and glam. I think having access to all those styles in my size is one of my favorite parts of co-founding Dia & Co.
HG: As you guys continue to grow, what are some of your upcoming projects?
NB: This is one of the first projects to come out of the fashion forward campaign. We have an incredible amount of exciting projects in the works. I think continuing to bring to light the fashion that our customer craves is really what I’m most excited about.