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Plus-size retailer launches talent fund with £5,000 grant

PLUS-SIZE POSITIVITY: Navabi is awarding grants to individuals and collectives who push forward representation

PLUS-SIZE ONLINE retailer navabi has announced the launch of the Global Talent Fund, a series of grants to help individuals make their creative dreams come true while staying committed to plus-size representation.

The first grant of £5,000 has been awarded to Too Bold Too Brave. The inaugural recipients, Maryam and Tatenda, are behind Too Bold Too Brave, which creates high quality visuals that challenge perceptions in plus-size fashion. Maryam styles, art directs, composes the music, casts and sometimes stars in the films, while her partner Tatenda shoots and edits them. With their grant they were able to produce a short fashion film called Summer in the City, and will create three more fashion films.

Maryam said: “This will give us the provision to make more short films and continue to build an amazing portfolio of work and open more doors so we can continue to push the vision that fashion can continue to push forward with a new image. I can also collaborate with other stylists which can elevate some of the roles I take on for each film.”

The pair describe Too Bold Too Brave as a movement.

Maryam said: “I was tired of being fed the same images in plus-size fashion which normally was white women with the perfect curves: small waist, slim arms and thick thighs. A lot of these campaigns dressed the women in t-shirts and jeans or lingerie, there is nothing wrong with that but we wanted to create high fashion images and films that represented other women that I feel have been excluded from fashion especially black women. We wanted to see plus-size women in high end fashion to inspire those who really want to dress well and walk in confidence.”

Talking about the film they produced (Maryam, art directed, cast, styled, created the score and stars in the film, while Tatenda filmed and edited it) Maryam says: “Summer in the City captures the energy, vibrancy and confidence London gives you. To show off south-east London - where I’m from - was perfect, I’ve always wanted to shoot in my local area and places like Brixton. We wanted to show these fine pieces of clothing against the backdrop of vibrant, urban London.”

Danel Barker, navabi's CMO, said: “Summer in the City fits with our fund mission as it enables Maryam and Tatenda to showcase their skills at curating, directing and editing a video shoot that pushes forward plus-size representation. With the grant we’re delighted to give them the opportunity to hone their craft and support them in creating more fashion films in the future.”

Navabi wants to hear from anyone who has always wanted to start a podcast, get their fashion label off the ground, hold an event, produce a photo or video campaign shoot, put together a book, pay for office space to get their business going, or any number of other amazing ideas they’ve got going on. navabi will be awarding individuals and collectives the money, resources and platform they need to develop or get started.

All that is asked of applicants is that the activity makes a tangible positive contribution to the representation of plus-size women.

Barker said: “At navabi, we pride ourselves on being more than ‘just’ a fashion brand. Our mission is to positively contribute to the way plus-size women are perceived around the world, whether that’s through representation, changing the discourse around bodies, or setting a new standard for what plus-size women deserve.”

Applicants can find more information at www.navabi.co.uk/global-talent-fund

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