Meet The Judges: the Cultivate Awards

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In case you missed our MAJOR NEWS last month, The Curvy Fashionista, with funding sponsor Eloquii, launched The Cultivate Awards! The Cultivate Awards is an initiative that supports and nurtures indie designers in the plus size fashion community.  

If you’ve missed the details, the grand prize winner will win a $10,000 grant, a one year of professional mentorship, and the chance for a capsule collection with Eloquii! Not only that, but runners up will receive a $2,500 grant, and the Viewer’s Choice winner will receive a $1,000 award!

We also have more prizes to share from our sponsors and community partners! You have to stay tuned!

This initiative is open to all indie BIPOC designers of plus size fashion! Want more info on how to enter? Click here for more details!

Eloquii's Black Creatives Project- @GlobalMidwife
Eloquii’s Black Creatives Project- @GlobalMidwife

This grant is one of the many initiatives that Eloquii has committed to, to hold themselves accountable, and ensure that the company elevates, supports, and financially invests in Black talent, like their Black Creatives Project , for Black influencers with under 20,000 followers and more.

In order to choose the winner, we have tapped a variety of changemakers, leaders, and community layers in the plus size community who know a thing or two about fashion and style.

Eloquii's Black Creatives Project- @AsSeenbyLauren
Eloquii’s Black Creatives Project- @AsSeenbyLauren

For The Cultivate Awards, a panel of notable and established judges will choose one winner and finalists to showcase their work during our Virtual Fashion Showcase in May. Yes, a livestreamed finale showcase!

We wanted to let you get to know our judges a bit better, so without further ado…

Please Meet The Cultivate Awards Judges!

cultivate awards

Meet Timothy Snell

Celebrity Stylist & Fashion Designer

It’s important to discover and support the new creatives of curvy fashion. It’s exciting to be a part of who shapes The New Body Guards Of Curvy Fashion

Timothy Snell

Known as “The Man Behind The Curves”, Timothy has a unique eye and bold, modern, and graphic design aesthetic that hones in on the desires of modern and contemporary plus-size women.

This award-winning television host, fashion designer, and celebrity stylist is both an image-maker and a therapist. Working from the outside in, Timothy transforms, reinvents, and re-introduces clients to their best and most stylish self each time he works with them.

Timothy has made a successful shift as a designer behind the scenes with on-camera appearances as a co-host and brand consultant for the highly-successful Queen Latifah Collection on HSN, a pop-culture expert of style expert with The Queen Latifah Talk Show, as well as the head costumer for The Steve Harvey Talk Show and Style Watch.

Timothy also hosted on BET Network’s a hit fashion series Curvy Style With Timothy Snell, bringing his expertise and chic and sophisticated style advice for the curvy woman. A highly sought-after personal key stylist, the Timothy Snell client roster has included Queen Latifah, Angela Bassett, Tisha Campbell-Martin, and the late legend Whitney Houston among a number of other high-profile individuals.

Additionally, Snell’s expertise is in constant demand by corporate mega brands such as Cover Girl, Torrid, Olay, Always For Me, and Zales. Timothy’s editorial/ commercial work has appeared in In Style, Glamour, Vogue, Vogue Italia, and more!




cultivate awards

Meet Lindsay Peoples Wagner

Editor In Chief, Teen Vogue & Co-Founder of Black in Fashion Council

For me, inclusivity has always been the center of my reasoning to be in fashion and a desperate need to find representation.

Size inclusivity specifically is an area that fashion has so much work to do to move forward on, and the Eloquii for the Cultivate award is the perfect platform to create more opportunities for size-inclusive designers.

This initiative that gives time, mentorship, and resources to BIPOC designers in the plus-size space is an integral part of moving the fashion industry to be as progressive as it claims to be and as progressive as we all hope it will be. 

Lindsay Peoples Wagner

Lindsay Peoples Wagner is the editor in chief of Teen Vogue, a role she has held since October 2018, and Co-Founder of the Black in Fashion Council.

Peoples Wagner previously spent 5 years as an editor at The Cut and New York Magazine, a role she took following her time as the fashion market reporter at 

While at The Cut, she won the ASME Next award in 2017, honoring outstanding achievement by magazine journalists under the age of 30, and wrote the critically-acclaimed “Everywhere and Nowhere: What it’s really like to be black and work in fashion,” that featured more than 100 people of color’s insights and perspectives on diversity in fashion (The Cut, Sept. 2018).

More recently, Wagner was celebrated among Business of Fashion’s 2019 BoF 500 and named to the 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 list. 

Instagram: @LPeoplesWagner  

cultivate awards

Meet Liris Crosse

Model, Actress and Plus Size Fashion Pioneer

I was delighted that Marie asked me to be apart of this distinguished panel of judges because I’m all about amplifying black creatives, creating social and financial equity for my people and doing my part to help brands be more accountable while helping my people.

I love fashion, my Blackness and my curves so this award “had me at the door”.

Liris Crosse

Liris Crosse, dubbed “The “Body” & “The Naomi Campbell of Plus” is a model/actress & pioneer in the fashion industry for full-figured women & Black women known for pushing curvy models into mainstream fashion!

She is one of the first plus models to win the model portion of the reality series “Project Runway” on season 16. She’s graced magazines from American Vogue, Essence, British Cosmopolitan to Vibe as well as done in-store campaigns for Lane Bryant & Ashley Stewart.

Liris reigns as the spokesmodel for bridal retailer, Maggie Sottero Designs as she changes the landscape of race and size in the bridal industry.

She has over a decade of industry experience & says modeling is her first love and purpose. It’s allowed her to inspire and motivate women across the world especially via her Life Of A Working Model Bootcamp.

Her best selling book, Make The World Your Runway, has garnered stellar reviews for helping to give people confidence pushing them further into their purpose and is available on Amazon. 

Instagram: @LirisC

Twitter: @LirisC

Clubhouse: @LirisC


cultivate awards meet the judges

Meet Yesenia Torres

Design Director of ELOQUII

As a plus-size latin fashion designer, I’m excited to rally the BIPOC fashion community and shine a light on all of the incredible talent out there. BIPOC designers are second-to-none.

I hope this initiative will excite and inspire others in the community on such an incredible opportunity that should be normalized in the industry.

The Cultivate Award is very dear to my heart, and it’s a step forward in continuing to elevate both people of color and plus-size fashion.

Yesenia Torres

Yesenia currently serves as the Design Director of ELOQUII, the trend-driven retailer for women sizes 14+. Beginning her tenure at ELOQUII in 2017 as Senior Designer, Yesenia was quickly promoted to her current position a year later as Design Director.

She played an integral part in leading the design for some of the brand’s most notable and successful collection partnerships: Draper James, Jason Wu, Cosabella and Priscilla Ono.

Yesenia Torres is a skilled fashion designer with over 12 years of experience working in the industry.  A master in her field, Yesenia specializes in trend analysis, fit, textiles and apparel in both straight and plus sizes.

Inspired by her grandmother who immigrated from Cuba and not knowing the English language, she mastered the craft in sewing and making clothes from working in a factory.

Under her direction, ELOQUII’s pieces have been globally recognized and featured by Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour and InStyle to name a few, and beloved and worn by Chrissy Metz, Octavia Spencer, Rebel Wilson, to name a few.  

Instagram: @yesenialeigh 

A great mix of judges, yes?!

We are so excited to have such a prestigious panel of judges for our first Cultivate Awards! Now that you know a bit more about the judges and their background we want to hear from YOU!

Do you know of any BIPOC indie designers of plus size fashion that would be a perfect candidate for The Cultivate Awards?

Spread the word! You have until March 1st to apply and submit!

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Written by Mayra Mejia

Mayra Mejia (She/Her) is a fat-positive, queer Salvadoran-American editor, writer, activist, and content creator. Passionate about fostering strong and inclusive body positive spaces, she founded PLUSH DMV, a DC-based fat-positive community.

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