Whether you saw her win the Miss BBW International Beauty Pageant in 2012, you discovered her many 'self love' rants on Facebook, you have seen her on Twitter or met her at an event there can be no denying that she will have made an impact.
I won't talk about how at a size 22 it is a surprise she is so confident and I won't take about how she's pretty for a big girl because we all know being good looking and confident isn't linked to body size.
What I do want to talk about is the very exciting Gemma Cruickshank Collexions which are due to launch soon! I am very excited to see what Gemma has come up with and I know I won't be disappointed! Having someone who understands a bigger body design clothes for me is amazing and I can't wait for the line to be launched!
In a lead up to the launch I caught up with Gemma to talk about fashion and her new line - her is what she had to say!
For anyone who doesn't know you in the plus-size world (or the 'normal world' for that matter) who are you?
My name is Gemma Cruickshank, I am 23 years old and I am an up and coming size-inclusive fashion designer. I graduated last November and have had a whirl wind of a year; I am excited to be sharing the fantastic news that my brainchild ‘Gemma Cruickshank Clothing’ will be launching this October 2013.
Celebrating the curvaceous form and non-commercial silhouette is my passion, I definitely consider myself to be a body confidence and self-esteem activist. I believe that boosting self-esteem enables us to achieve our goals and better our lives. I have done lots of work around size acceptance, body confidence and self-esteem boosting in the run-up to my business launch.
Being tall and fuller figured myself, and knowing the struggle women of different shapes and sizes face when buying clothes. I initially went to University to study fashion & printed textiles which I knew would equip me with the knowledge I needed to build my dream and enable me to provide quality, size appropriate clothing.
We're hearing rumours on Twitter and Facebook of you launching a clothing range, tell us more?
I am indeed launching a clothing range, it is something I am so excited and so passionate about. I am lucky enough to be the proud occupant of a BA Hons in fashion and printed textiles. I am literally now turning my dreams into my reality. I am currently working with the Prince's Trust to build my business, which I am launching on the evening of Tuesday 8th October 2013. This will be a fantastic opportunity for me to meet all the fabulous people who have been supporting me for the past year, release my first official collection and celebrate the launch of my awaited website.
Did you do all the designs yourself?
I do everything myself which I love, initially, I am a digital printer which means I am able to design my fabric surfaces myself, which enables me to get the exact fabric design I want to use. I design all my own stuff, pattern cut, sew and finish all myself. Up until now, I have been doing bespoke orders but the time is definitely here to unleash a small collection of my own little ‘Gems’. As my business is growing and the only way is up I will be on the lookout to grow #TeamGemma, I am looking for skilled pattern cutters and seamstresses to join my team.
Who will your range be aimed at?
I would hate to limit my range and say it’s only made for one group of people or a specific person. I would never produce anything I wouldn’t wear myself, and it is open for everybody to enjoy.
Although I am plus size myself, I feel it is very important for us to be included in the fashion industry this is why I am doing size inclusion which covers 12-30. I want to be the change I want to see, I would love for fuller figure ladies to be able to shop at the same places as their petite friends, and be able to buy something because they really like it not because they have to, because it’s their size. I am open to everyone who wants to enjoy my passion.
Where do you get your design inspiration from?
Being part of my own target market means I am continuously inspired, I am a very visual person, I love the feminine form, I love the feel of fabrics, I get excited by colour, and I love the endless opportunities. It never gets boring, I love what I do, I love the wave of fuller figured women who are all doing their own bit for our community and showing that just because you are bigger doesn’t mean you can’t be beautiful – that to me is one of the most inspiring things ever and something I am so grateful to be a part of.
Where can I find out more?
I love a bit of social media, I can be found exclusively at www.GemmaCruickshank.com
I can be found on my official Facebook page www.facebook.com/IAmGemmaC
I can be followed and tweeted www.twitter.com/IAmGemmaC - @IAmGemmaC
I can be contacted directly through all of these, I am known as IAmGemmaC via social media, if it’s not IAmGemmaC it’s not me :D
Where, when and how will I be able to buy your clothes!?
Starting Small, My clothes will be available to buy via my own website under the Boutique heading – www.GemmaCruickshank.com & www.GemmaCruickshank.co.uk
Got my fingers crossed and I would love to work with a bigger brand either expanding their own plus size range or introducing a new one!! I am always open to new ideas and love a challenge.
So there you have it - a VERY exciting new business venture by a lovely lady who knows what she is talking about. By living and breathing the clothes she is designing you can feel sure that her passion, experience and qualifications will make sure that the clothes line is worth checking out!
I'm going to the launch on the 8th October so I'll bring you all the gossip and news from there ASAP!
What would you like to see as part of Gemmas new collection?