I had the pleasure of being invited by Ozlem to catch a glimpse of the inner- workings of Igigi on Friday! What an amazing visit! From the polite and sweet quality inspector to the vivacious Yuliya, my experience with Igigi was one that I will never forget!
Are you familiar with IGIGI? Founded by Designer Yuliya Zeltser in 2000, IGIGI brand fulfills the fashion fantasy of curvaceous and voluptuous women with smart, stylish, and sophisticated collections that accentuate and celebrate their bodies.
To give you a better insight to who exactly IGIGI is:
IGIGI is pronounced as â€œee-zhee-zheeâ€ in French manner and has a funny history behind it. Originally a friend helped me create â€œsexyâ€ name by taking a French name Gigi and making it â€˜symmetricalâ€™ by placing an â€˜Iâ€™ at the beginning of the word. When I heard â€˜igigiâ€™, it instantly â€˜feltâ€™ right to me, and I absolutely loved the way it sounded. Later on, I researched online and found out that IGIGI was the name of an ancient civilizationâ€™s gods; and the main goddess of the group was Ishtar – an ancient Phoenician goddess of love and fertility. And to make it even more serendipitous there was a poem translated from the ancient language; part of it I would like to recite. It still gives me goose bumps when I read it.
â€œPraise the goddess, the most awesome of the goddesses.
Let one revere the mistress of the peoples, the greatest of the Igigi.
She is clothed in pleasure and love.
She is laden with vitality, charm, and voluptuousness.â€
How befitting! So to continue on with my visit, my excitement began with an extended invitation to their potluck, and I was showered with so much happiness! How fun it must be to work in a place that inspires such confidence and style! To back things up, Ozlem was so amazing in orchestrating this visit! Such an amazing host, I have to give a huge THANK YOU to her!
Before meeting the designer of Igigi, Ozlem walked me around their headquarters, sharing with me the ropes of this trailblazing plus size designer.
Did you know that all facets of Igigi are made and produced right here in the Bay Area? Everything!
Ozlem introduces me to the lovely Yuliya and from our introduction; I am in love with Yuliya! She shares her story of how IGIGI was born- did you know they started in her friendsâ€™ garage? From there, they grew, grew, and are now the IGIGI that you and I know!
Okay, so as I am sitting down to eat, I meet their fabulous size 20 fit model and merchandiser, Dana and her lovely son. Now, Miss Dana has been in the plus size industry game for a cool minute, as a model and now a fit model for IGIGI! Sharing with me about her transition from New York to San Francisco, we talk about the state of the industry and how it is evolving!
Accompanied by Yuliya and Ozlem, our conversation delved deeper into the state of plus size fashion and how us Curvy.Confident.Chic. are tasked with championing this movement. How befitting, given my letter to the retail industry!
Yuliya shares her story of how she entered into this market with such conviction. As a couturier, she recalls a beautiful woman coming in, in need of a dress, standing tall at a size 12. As she tries on dresses, she falls to tears, as she realizes that even she, a size 12, can be just as beautiful as the size 2â€™s she sees. Yulia had been so moved with the transformation of her client before her eyes, that she realized the tribulations and transformations plus size women endure every day.
Wanting to leave her mark on this industry, Yuliya started IGIGI. While it was fabulous creating these one-of-a-kind dresses, she wanted to reach more than a handful of plus size women. You can read more on her personal story here!
At this time, the rest of the staff is busy back to work, leaving Ozlem, Dana, Yuliya, and myself sharing thoughts and opinions of where we are. I feel so humbled to be amongst such seasoned women who are both engaging and forthcoming with me about the industry. But, it gets even better!
After we happily stuff our faces, it is try on time! However, before we go there, Yuliya takes me through their inspiration boards and their creative areaâ€¦ My, oh my! My mind is racing with excitement and joy! To see how and where IGIGIâ€™s garments are birthed from, it is overwhelming!
So, we head back downstairs, to try on looks from their newest delivery. OH! Ladies, I must tell you, you know how when you see something online and when you get it, the color is off or the dress looks different? This is not the case! With IGIGI, what you see online is just what you get at home! On top of that, the lining of their dresses is a pleasant surprise! The hand of the fabrics is like butter and the cuts are superb! (Thank you Dana for helping us out!) Their color choices are divine- as I am a huge fan of rich hues and tones!
I cannot wait to don more of their pieces, as I have my new favorites highlighted all throughout this post!
So, I extend this challenge to you ladies to share with me your fiercely fabulous looks and fits! Email me your looks and I will share with all who I can, real women, excuse me- Real Curvy Fashionistas, strutting their curves all over the sidewalk runway! Are you game?
Thank you to IGIGI and all their staff for extending your home to me! I am extremely grateful and ladies, if you have not had the chance to make your way over to their website and browse their fits, you must do it NOW! Not later but NOW!
Visit IGIGI here!
What do you think? Are you in love like me? Sound off!
Keep it Curvy!