Saturday, May 7, 2011

Fashion Front Update: The Pulse of the Plus Size Community Panel Discussion

This year, in conjunction with Full Figured Fashion Week™, The Fashion Front will host a panel discussion, “The Pulse of the Plus Size Community”. Perfectly timed, in the midst of current news in the media, this panel discussion addresses the current state of the plus-size community and the significance of Full Figured Fashion Week™, through the eyes of the industry’s leaders, bringing different perspectives from various experiences and points of view.

  • Friday, June 17th
  • 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
  • Affinia Hotel (Peyton Room) 371 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY
  • Admission: $15 in advance
  • Buy Tickets

Jill Hutchison

Jill Hutchison is the Publisher & General Manager for, a social commerce website developed by Charming Shoppes, the parent company of Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug and Catherines Plus Sizes.

Jill previously held the title of Associate Publisher of Figure Magazine, a plus-size fashion publication owned by Charming Shoppes, where she was responsible for brand development, editorial and publishing activity for the Figure franchise.

Prior to that, Jill managed the company's philanthropic efforts where she spearheaded a variety of programs including the Round Up for Keeping Kids Warm® campaign, a community effort that yielded more than $3.4 million in charitable contributions in three short months. Prior to joining Charming Shoppes, Jill organized and executed events for ALSAC / St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Katheryn Finney

Kathryn Finney is the founder of and CEO of TBF Group, LLC, parent company of Simply Good Media, an information network with the sole mission to teach you how to live your best on less. Founded in 2003, the network’s flagship property is The Budget Fashionista, one of the most popular and influential fashion blogs, reaching a global audience of more than five million+ unique visitors a year. An honors graduate of Yale and Rutgers Universities, Kathryn has been featured in more than 600 media outlets, including TODAY show, Good Morning America, CNN, E!/Style, Fox News and has been profiled numerous times leading publications including the New York Times, USA TODAY, the Wall Street Journal, and InStyle.Kathryn is considered an expert in building branded, women-centered online properties and is a frequent keynote speaker at conferences such as Blogher Business, South by Southwest (SXSW), New York Women in Communications, Women’s Funding Network, and numerous colleges and universities. She is a founder and trustee of The Robert Finney Foundation and serves on the board of the Hudson Guild. A Minneapolis native, Kathryn lives in New York City with her husband and 35 shoes.

Madeline Figueroa-Jones

Editor Mrs. Figueroa-Jones is a NY native and former plus size model. After appearing in several magazine's, working for numerous designers and participating in several television segments including Aqui Y Ahora for Univision and Court TV's Star Jones'

Talk Show she began reaching out to the plus size community by serving as a moderator for and Empowerment Editor for Madeline has experience on and off the runway and served as Casting Director for Hips, Heals and Curves, a traveling fashion show featuring plus size clothing and designs. Always an activist and looking to bring plus size women into a fashion forward mentality she combined forces with friend and online magazine publisher, Valery Amador, to create PLUS Model Magazine.

As Editor for PLUS Model Magazine, Madeline has been producing issues which push the envelope with both exclusive interviews with some of today's top models, and edgy fashion editorials aimed at featuring today's plus size modeling industry in it's truest light. Expanding the PLUS empire, PLUS Model Radio was introduced in March 2008 ( with host Chenese Lewis which is today's number one podcast for plus size women in the industry. In January 2010 she implemented 18PLUS, a new feature within PLUS which will push the plus size modeling industry by featuring plus size women, models and entertainers who wear a size 18 and larger. Madeline was also on the production team of Full Figured Fashion week ( in 2009 and started 2010 with a bang with write ups in The Daily News and brought PLUS to the CNN audience with Creative Editor at Large, Mia Amber Davis. As the plus size industry continues to change, Madeline's voice continues to stay true to her original ideals for plus size women.

Madeline is also a mother to daughter Madison Eladia Jones and wife to photographer, Luke Jones, who works primarily with plus size models via

Jennene Biggins, Founder and CEO Voluptuous Woman Company

For the past twelve (12) years Jennene Biggins, a New Jersey native has served as an advocate for the plus-size community. Although Jennene was not plus size all of her life, as her size began to increase she became unsatisfied with the choices in fashion that existed for women with curves and was disgusted by the attitudes society exhibits towards plus-size women.

In November 1997, Jennene founded the Voluptuous Woman Company (VWC) based out of Silver Spring, Maryland. The Voluptuous Woman Company’s motto is “Size is Just a Number..Not a Limitation.® The company serves as a positive voice for the plus- size woman and offers informative, spiritual and empowering events such as networking receptions, conferences and other special events specifically designed to encourage plus- size women to live life to the fullest

In October 2000, The Voluptuous Woman Company hosted over one hundred women for a weekend of empowerment workshops, a fashion show and luncheon. Some of Ms. Biggins’ accomplishments include, publishing the Full Figured Woman’s Resource Guide in 1999, conducting a workshop geared towards the plus-size women at two African American Women on Tour Conferences, and working as a freelance writer for Belle Magazine. Ms. Biggins has also been featured in a full page article in the Washington Times Newspaper and the Washington City Paper. 2003 marked the beginning of a new phase of the Voluptuous Woman Company. The company began carrying unique clothing and accessories for plus-size women via their online boutique. In 2005, Ms. Biggins and the Voluptuous Woman Company were chosen as one of eight companies to accompany the U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Textiles and Apparel on a Plus-Size Apparel and Accessory Trade Mission to London, England and Dusseldorf, Germany.

In July 2005, the Voluptuous Woman Company launched their premier apparel product – Voluptuous Bath Wraps ( The Voluptuous Bath Wrap was designed specifically for the plus-size woman who has experienced the “shortcomings” of the average bath towel. The spa/bath wrap is made of 100% luxurious terry cotton velour and fits curvy women size 14-30. The bath wraps are carried by day spas, boutiques and hotels throughout the United States and Internationally.

Ms. Biggins recently launched the Plus Size Clothing Auction (http:// - a self-service auction site with features similar to EBay offering general and Dutch auctions, fixed priced listings, classified listings and individual store front for the plus size consumer. And has joined forces with Tonye Fubara of Melons and Peaches to create the Plus Size Marketing Group, a full service consulting company for the plus size industry.

Glen Johnson - Full Figure Plus

Glen L Johnson is the voice behind Full Figure Plus. At 44 years old living in Little Rock, Arkansas Glen is a full time blogger making a living from a medium he did not know existed before October of 2004. Glens' goal is to provide a male perspective to the world of plus size fashion.

Named one of The 40 Best Plus Size Fashion Blogs Full Figure Plus has allowed Glen the opportunity to be a part of historic events like the JMS Style Symposium, Full Figured Fashion Week™ in New York, and Full Figured Fashion Week(end)™ in Los Angeles.

Additionally, Glen graduated with honors from Ashford University in 2009 with a Bachelors Degree in Organizational Management. In 2011 he earned an MBA with an entrepreneurship specialization. Academic honors include the dean's list, a member of Alpha Sigma Lambda, and the Golden Key International Honor Society.

The success of Full Figure Plus lead to the official launching of Full Figure Network, Inc. a parent company with several projects in the works to further promote activities within the plus community. With thousands of monthly visitors from 158 countries viewing millions of pages Glen works hard to not only show the best in plus fashion but keep readers up to date on the most relevant issues affecting the plus size community.

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