M&S Design manager Tomas Vlachioties interviewed Danielle Vanier, the leading Plus Size Fashion Design and Online Influencer. The two discuss Danielle’s journey from designer to blogger to designer and how blogging allowed access into the designing world. Furthermore, this lead to political discourse surrounding the fashion industry and Danielle’s thoughts on the inclusion of plus size models.

With the bold and inspiring attitude of “I could do that and I could do it better”, Danielle overcame unfortunate circumstances regarding her health by remaining faithful to her creativity in the platform of social media. Through the power of advertising hashtags on Instagram, Danielle described her journey from a ‘hobby blogger’ to an innovative designer for M&S’ Curve range.

Danielle tells the audience of her past projects with other companies such as Nike, where she helped design a plus size activewear collection. However, she claims that this spurred her frustration with the lack of plus size women in the media and she declared that it “does not compute”. As such, she has become an inspiration for plus size women and pioneer for plus size clothing by promoting plus size models to come to the forefront of advertisement rather than “be kept in the back”. Working for M&S creates the diversity she desires as their Curve range is made on size 24 mannequins rather than purely “graded up”, which is commonly found with other fashion companies, allowing for carefully fitted, flattering garments.

Tomas then brings about the topic of cyberbullying and how Danielle found the obstacles of being in the public eye. She replies simply: “People are gonna talk a lot of shizzle” but “self-love is key”. Again she brings about a body confident mantra, which is central to her designs with M&S. Hand in hand with her mantra is her pivotal piece of advice: “be authentic”, when starting up a blog of your own. 

Words by Anna Tank 

Photography by Zoe Griffin