Jinwoo Hong SKETCHES PR news

It’s no secret that, when it comes to plus-size fashion, we have a long way to go. From the inconsistency of plus sizes to the severe lack of options women have in the plus-size section, it’s been a topic that’s been at the forefront of the conversation. Stars like Rebel Wilson have been speaking out on how the industry needs to change in a major way, while plus-size models like Tess Holliday have been making waves and chipping away at unrealistic beauty standards brick by brick.

The more awareness that’s being raised about the issue, the more inclusive the fashion world is becoming. And that’s exactly why we are so happy about the Fullbeauty Award — a new full-figured design competition, created in partnership with the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).

Fullbeauty, which calls itself “the premier fashion destination for sizes 12+,” holds the competition to diversify fashion and clothing design beyond a one-size ideal by encouraging talented design students to create groundbreaking designs in the plus-size industry. Dozens of juniors at the Fashion Institute of Technology competed to create designs for Fullbeauty that were creative, innovative, and stylish. The judging panel featured singer Meghan Trainor, as the competition was created in coordination with a campaign she starred in —#OwnYourCurves.

Over 50,000 people voted, and yesterday, the winner was announced. Jinwoo Hong, a 28-year-old FIT student from South Korea, won the competition and was awarded $2,500, a paid design internship at Fullbeauty, and a profile in the Fullbeauty magazine.

Shockingly, the fullbeauty campaign was Jinwoo’s first design competition ever. “I saw the competition poster on one of the board at FIT, and set a plan for it,” Hong told HelloGiggles. “. . . I started the collection with a simple idea, but the most important aspect view of it. . . curves. The prints I created for the collection were inspired by the beautiful lines from nature and contour lines of human face.”

Hong believes bettering the plus-size industry is essential, he explained. “As we keep trying to change stereotypes of [beauty] and help them to move forward, I believe [the plus-size industry] will naturally bring major steps,” he told us. “I want to people who choose to wear my clothes always look comfortable but also feel confidence in any occasion.”

The entries in the competition were judged based on creativity, innovation, and style. Runner-ups were FIT students Wei Lin (second place) and Aleksandra Gosiewski (third place). “This winning collection shows that modern style looks great on curvy women,” fullbeauty vice president of design Zahir Babvani told HG. “It demonstrates how amazing curves look, and that women should be proud of them and own their curves.”

In recent years, retailers like T.J. Maxx, H&M, Wet Seal, ModCloth, and Forever 21 have been joining the plus-size revolution to make clothing more available for women of all body-types. As women who are plus-size account for 67% of the population, it’s a major market that would benefit not only the public, but retailers as well. Getting up-and-coming designers involved in creating trendy, stylish and consistent plus-size designs will serve to reinforce the amazing changes we’ve been seeing in the fashion world.

As for Hong, he is “excited” and “thrilled” to have won the competition and be a part of the team. Though he plans on continuing his studies, he isn’t finished making waves in the plus-size fashion world. “I just want to say thank you. . . so much [to anyone who] supports and loves my design,” he told us.

Congratulations, Jinwoo! Thanks for using your talent and creativity to create more awareness and opportunity in the fashion industry.

(Images via Jinwoo Hong and Twitter.)