With no signs of slowing down, Antoinette Johnson has become a fashion influencer for plus sized women across social-media. With her message being clear: fashion is for everyone, Johnson has created a brand for herself centred on fashion, cocktails and self-love. In this Q&A Johnson discusses her journey to becoming ‘Cocktails with Antoinette’ and author of the style-help book “Curvy Girl Magic.” All of which she has accomplished before the age of 21.
How did your love for fashion start?
My mother fell in love with fashion first, and she used to dress my sister and I up in the most fashionable clothing (sometimes we would even match). In Elementary school, I used to sketch clothing and tell people I wanted to be a designer. Eventually, fashion kind of became a part of who I was.
How would you describe your personal style?
I have a trendy style I’m always following the trend and seeing if it works for me, but because I’m plus size, it’s harder to find stylish pieces in my size so I usually look for unique pieces that can make my wardrobe stand out from others.
Were there times you were discouraged to start/continue your blog?
A lot in the beginning. I was so discouraged because I was in high school when I started and I was doing a million things at once that I left my blog on the side for a while. In my last year of high school I was considering discontinuing that dream, but for some reason, I decided to keep going and after graduating was when I took my blogging seriously.
Why do you think most brands were and still are reluctant to feature plus-sized models, or include plus sized ranges in their designs?
The industry is so behind when it comes to being progressive because of how long the standard of fashion has been the same. So, when society as a whole wants a specific change in the industry, it usually takes years for it to complete the transition. But I also believe that plus size women should support plus size brands that are already there instead of pushing for inclusivity from brands who only go up to a large.
Which brand would you recommend your readers to start shopping with if they are trying to change up their style? Why?
I have a list that’s a good selection for plus size women including:
1. ASOS: because they have unique pieces for plus size women that are more fashion forward, and you get to support small business by using their marketplace.
2. Pretty Little Thing: Their pieces look high end, and you can look like a million bucks if you get pieces from that store.
3. Forever 21: They were the first brand for me that I found stylish pieces for a cheap price in plus size and I think this store is good for the girls who are on a budget.
4. Addition Elle: This is for the women who work the 9-5. Addition Elle really offers a wide variety of stylish work clothing for women and for my older readers should definitely check this store out.
What do you want to see more of in the fashion industry in 2019?
There are a couple of things I want to see more of in the industry this year. The main one is that even though the industry is working on becoming more diverse, I still believe that they have a long way to go especially in the plus size community. So, I would strive for more inclusivity in fashion.
What does representation mean to you in the fashion industry?
That everyone who isn’t typically included in the industry because of the status quo is represented and reflects the everyday person.
What inspires you to stay motivated?
That I know that I’m going to make it in the industry. My dreams keep me motivated to keep going.
What inspired you to write “Curvy Girl Magic”?
I notice that there wasn't a lot of fashion books for plus size women, so I decided to close that gap and create one. I always wanted to be an author and write a book, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to blend two things I love fashion and writing.
What inspired you to start Cocktails with Antoinette events?
Ever since I was 16, I wanted to create events that demonstrate a safe space for plus size women. I didn't pursue this idea until I went to Generation Beauty over a year ago and realized that I should produce my first event.
How did you come up with the name for your events?
I wanted my event to have cocktails and centre around conversation. The name of the event just came to me.
Who inspires you most?
People all around inspire me because social media is such a big thing I get to see people get successful and share their creative vision to the world. It makes me want to push myself to be more creative and become more successful.
How do you stay motivated?
I keep myself motivated by making a weekly checklist of what needs to be done, and then I break it down into smaller tasks, so the job doesn't get overwhelming, and I start procrastinating.
What’s one thing you want anyone who comes across your work/page/blog to leave knowing about you or themselves?
I want that person to feel like they can do anything, I want to inspire others to live their best lives and do what they love while loving themselves in the process.
Would you ever consider starting your own clothing line?
I have, but I’m not much of a designer but more a fashion stylist. I think if brands want to collaborate with me I would. But I’m not really ready for that right now.
What other exciting things should we be expecting from you in the new year?
I’m actually planning a conference in the summer that I’m really excited for, and I’m doing small events through the year. I’m also expanding my career as a fashion stylist, so I hope I get to do more projects based around that.
What is one item of clothing you can’t live without?
Oh gosh, purses! I seriously have an addiction to them like I have a huge purse collection and I don’t think I can live without them.
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