amaze plus size magazine

with michele weston

Anna Scholz and I have known each other as friends and supporters since my Mode Magazine days. We had a chance to catch up online as she headed back to London with her fiancee and fab photographer beau, Alfred Bailey. She is ever irreverent and every time I shoot an Anna Scholz look for a fashion spread, wear a skirt or tops of hers no matter what season it comes from, or send an outfit out to Hollywood for some celeb to 'get hooked on' I thank my lucky stars that Anna marches to the beat of her own drummer.

[Michele] I LOVE the pictures of the hot young plus-model from Ford Models, Crystal Renn, that you used exclusively for your 'Spring 2006 Look Book' Anna! Anything you want to share about your collection for spring 2006?

[Anna] Could you please credit Alfred Bailey ( for the photographs??

[Michele] I know that your worldly travels are important to your design themes season after season -- what inspired you this season?

[Anna] Spring/Summer 2006 is a very oriental collection. The main print of the collection is taken from a vintage Japanese kimono and put into modern shapes.

Very successful were wrap dresses, and baby doll tops. We have taken Japanese heron embroideries for denim and t- shirts , and have a great utility/safari group of olive and turquoise linens teamed with delicate leopard silk chiffons. Dresses and suits come with a 50's twist.

[Michele] How long have you been designing for all sizes with your collection?

[Anna] Since I started my company 10 years ago (can't believe it is that long ), but I have always believed in a non-sizist philosophy and wanted to bring style, glamour and luxury to women of all sizes. What is new for us for Spring/Summer 2006 is that we have gone away from our double sizing ( sizes 1 - 4 ) and are now offering the whole collection in sizes 8 -24.

[Michele] What's your color palette this spring?

[Anna] Teal blue and turquoise, coral, mushroom and black

[Michele] Anything we should know about the trends of dresses and pantsuits this season that you deliver from the Anna Scholz spring 2006 collection?

[Anna] There are 3 groups of dresses: the Oriental influenced wrap dresses in kimono prints, the long full silhouetted evening dresses in animal chiffons and the 50's inspired shirtdress and cocktail dresses with matching 3/4 sleeve short jackets. It is quite a big collection, I really couldn't stop myself...

[Michele] What stores inEurope and America as well as Canada are we able to find your collection in?

[Anna] USA: Lord & Taylor NY, Vive La Femme Chicago , as well as The Answer in Canada. Europe: Harrods and Selfridges in London are the most famous, but we have a selection of 60 boutiques we sell to. We are also selling in: Singapore, Australia, etc. Women can always log onto my site for the complete list of stores around the world that my collection is sold

[Michele] Have you found the European curvy women more accepting of their figures than the Americans? Why or why not?

[Anna] I think women are similar all over the world, and there are always women who embrace their curves, accept and learn to love themselves whatever size their are, and women who will always want to hide. But I do believe that women's voices are getting louder, and the market and demand for the plus size industry to supply more fashion led garments is finally getting bigger. I also believe that some ethnicities embrace curves more than others, and that women in Holland are more accepting of their curves and louder vocally in their acceptance than English women, and that women in Germany are born taller and therefore more accepting of sheer size. We all need more positive role models here and in the U.S. who are plus-size and fabulous.

[Michele] What changes have you seen since the advent of magazines like Mode and Grace Woman - as well as what the mainline mags are covering such as Glamour and Marie Claire. Are they doing their part to support size 14 and up woman with choices in their coverage monthly? What would you change?

[Anna] Well, the fact that Mode and Grace are both not there anymore tells me that this market is still not as supported as it should be and very 'under-potentialized.' I would applaud magazines like Glamour and Marie Claire to realize that their target audience are not all wearing a size 4. I believe we need photo editorials with plus-size models in all these mainline magazines at least if it is only every 6 months. But we need enough cool labels in plus sizes to be able to supply the magazines with styles they want to feature alongside their other fashion spreads. I am still running into lots of 'deaf ears' on magazines to feature anything about plus-size fashion. Most magazines still seem to think that even big women don't want to see bigger models. But we need role models.

[Michele] Why did you decide to do a collection for the UK clothing website Simply Be?

[Anna] Simply Be is not only a website, but a very successful mail order catalogue. I am very aware that I sell a luxury brand and that not everyone is able to afford my product. The collection I designed for Simply Be is perfect to give more women all over the UK affordable style. I also needed to get more brand awareness and support my main label financially.

I would love to be able to find another design opportunity like I have in the UK with an American catalogue.

[Michele] We hear that there is to be a fashion runway presentation in London with plus- size models for the Fall 2006 this true? What model agency from London is helping to create this? Are you going to be involved?

[Anna] This is news to me.... would love to hear more! I just know that there is someone organizing a consumer tradeshow for plus-sizes in the summer and I have asked to be involved, but I'm not sure yet.

My philosophy has stayed the same over the years: "To make women feel more beautiful!"

Lots of Love and Happy Retail Therapy!

xo Anna

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