San Jose Blogger Scores Fashion Contract With Lane Bryant

She’s looking like a runaway runway hit.

A San Jose-based fashion blogger has snagged a partnership with the apparel brand Lane Bryant to help create a new line of curvy clothing.

As part of this couture coup, the “Girl With Curves x Lane Bryant” collection of dresses, sports wear and outer wear inspired by Tanesha Ferguson Awasthi will make its debut Sept. 9 during New York Fashion Week.

Malissa Akay, a senior vice president for Lane Bryant, praised Awasthi for coming up with design ideas that reflect an “effortlessly cool and chic personal style.”  It’s the plus-size retailer’s first-ever collaboration with a top fashion influencer.

For the blogger, this style partnership with a brand she has long worn — and loved — is a career goal come true.

“At the age of 12, I told my parents, ‘I want to be a fashion designer or writer.’ I was always looking at magazines and tearing out photos,” said Awasthi, 37, who graduated from Milpitas High School and earned an English degree from UC-Berkeley instead of pursuing a design career.

She headed into the tech industry but still yearned to follow her passion. So as a creative outlet, she launched the Girl With Curves blog in 2011, realizing that she could “show and inspire women to look amazing.”

Her philosophy: “I am plus size. I am proud of my curves. And you can be too.”

When the blog took off — she now has more than 1.6 million subscribers — she did too, from her job as a sales account manager for a Silicon Valley network security company. Her husband, Dave, left the tech world in 2016 to join the business.

She quickly became an oft-quoted source on body positivity, showing up in Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Darling magazines. “I think the most important thing about getting dressed is wearing what makes you feel confident, no matter what fashion rules or society say you should or shouldn’t wear,” she told Cosmo readers in a summer fashion piece.

Then Lane Bryant came calling. For the last eight months, this mother of two (a toddler and a newborn) has flown and video-conferenced between the Bay Area and New York, working with the Lane Bryant designers and Reunited Clothing, the manufacturer.

The result is a 20-piece collection in sizes 12 to 28 that will be available at all stores (there are a dozen in the Bay Area) and online at Prices will range from $34.95 to $149.95.

“Everything is polished, sophisticated — but still practical and wearable” from 9 to 5 and then after hours, Awasthi said.

Plus, she said, “we certainly didn’t follow any fashion rules” — especially the ones that for years kept zaftig gals in loose-fitting clothing, narrow vertical stripes and monochromatic outfits. Instead, women will find tailored, belted looks; A-line silhouettes; high-waisted denims; a modern, feminine “power suit” with a skinny pant; and lots of all-over prints and splashes of color.

A number of pieces offer unusual flexibility. There’s a navy-blue coat that can be worn as a belted dress and a black lace dress that can double as a coat. she said.

Photos of some of the designs have been released by Lane Bryant and Girl With Curves, and she’s the model in all of the shots. The other looks will be revealed in the weeks leading up to Fashion Week.

On Sept. 9-10 of that week, Awasthi will host the official launch at a pop-up shop near Tribeca.  Then she’ll head back here to the local Lane Bryants, where she can’t wait to see others in the curve-hugging designs she inspired.

“Seeing women wearing the collection will be so surreal!” she said.

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San Jose blogger scores fashion contract with Lane Bryant
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