Written by Vanessa Vaillant
Diana Di Poce is a Ryerson University graduate, Canadian entrepreneur, and editor of DARE magazine, Canada’s first plus-sized fashion magazine. With plus-size fashion on the rise, it is wonderful seeing Canada have it’s first plus-sized fashion publication. I was lucky enough to interview Diana and find out what life is like this plus-sized fashionista, where her favourite places to shop in Toronto are, and some tips on dressing a curvy body. You can find Dare Magazine online here.
Q – What is life like as a magazine editor and entrepreneur?
Life as a magazine editor and entrepreneur has been wonderful. Having the opportunity to meet and work with such inspiring individuals throughout the past year has been a dream come true.
Building a platform with my team to share information with curvy ladies on the latest in plus size fashion, celebrities and beauty has been such a great experience and I am constantly amazed by the amount of emails and notes that we have received from our readers. They are extremely supportive of DARE and express this on a daily basis. They inspire us in every way possible!
Q – Tell us about DARE magazine.
DARE Magazine is Canada’s first plus size fashion magazine. Founded in May 2013, DARE is the curvy woman’s digital go-to-guide for the latest in fashion and beauty news, tips and trends. A destination for fashion-forward ladies, DARE is committed to featuring top celebrities, bloggers and models to inspire plus size women worldwide to be daring with their style and to flaunt their curves. All women can be fashion-forward no matter what size they wear—style truly has no size.
Dedicated to catering to women sizes 12+, DARE is a quarterly online publication that offers readers style and trend tips, shopping advice and beautiful fashion editorials. DARE has worked with leading plus size fashion bloggers, models and designers such as Jeanne Beker, Cycle 10 winner of America’s Next Top Model Whitney Thompson, singer Mary Lambert and Karyn Johnson of Killer Kurves to fill our pages with the latest in style.
DARE has reached thousands of viewers worldwide and has received incredible press reception from sources such as Perez Hilton, The Thought Catalog, CTV News and newspapers across the country (Metro News, Montreal Gazette, Ottawa Citizen, etc.).
Q – What made you decide to create DARE, the first Canadian plus-size fashion magazine?
DARE was developed as part of my fourth year thesis project, a requirement of the Ryerson University fashion communications degree program. I have had a passion for art direction, graphic design and fashion since beginning my degree, so I knew that creating a magazine was going to play a major role in my final project. I have also been plus size most of my life, so the creation of DARE, a magazine speaking to the curvy, seemed so natural. The drive to create such a magazine came from the lack of diversity seen in fashion today and the fact that as a stylish curvy woman and magazine lover, I had nowhere to turn for my fashion fix. Therefore, when asking myself what to include in the magazine and whom I should be targeting, the answer was simple: women like myself!My professor and mentor, Ben Barry, helped to guide me through the process and has supported the magazine and me since day one.
After the launch of the first issue (the Spring/Summer 2013 issue), the feedback from readers and the press was incredible. It was at this point that I decided to pursue DARE.
Q – What got you interested in plus-size fashion?
I have always loved fashion. From dressing up dolls as a child to constantly researching upcoming trends as a teenager, fashion has been a passion of mine since a young age. As a plus size teenager, being fashionable was a challenge at times, however I used my love for fashion to create unique outfits (or so I thought at the time!).
My interest in plus size fashion really came about when I first started my research for DARE. Coming across this whole new world of amazing curvy models, bloggers and icons was amazing! Not only did these ladies inspire me to create DARE, they also boosted my own self-esteem and made me feel beautiful no matter what dress size I wore. With this, I knew that Canada was missing a magazine like DARE and that I needed to change this.
Q – What do you think are some common faults that “straight-based” magazines make when discussing plus-sized women and fashion?
When discussing plus size women and fashion, I believe that “straight-based” magazines often stick to very basic styles and don’t offer enough variety. As the average North American woman wears a plus size, the curvy reader would love to see several pages dedicated to showcasing clothing available in plus sizes, rather than just one page in several cases.
Q – What are some of the best experiences you’ve had writing for DARE magazine?
I’ve had so many wonderful experiences working on DARE! Some of the most memorable moments have been interviewing and filming a beauty tutorial with America’s Next Top Model winner Whitney Thompson, interviewing songstress Mary Lambert, working on set with international models Kristina Yeo, Clementine Desseaux and Anita Marshall and receiving unforgettable emails from curvy women around the world expressing their love for DARE.
Q – Who are some of your plus-size fashion inspirations?
Some of my plus size fashion inspirations are Canada’s own curvy bloggers, Karyn Johnson from Killer Kurves and Karen Ward from Curvy Canadian—these two ladies are always on-trend and make Canada proud! I am also always keeping an eye out for celebrities Amber Riley, Rebel Wilson, Queen Latifah and Mary Lambert; it’s so inspiring to see these starlets embrace their curves on the red carpet. Finally, models Clementine Desseaux, Denise Bidot, Anita Marshall, Kristina Yeo, Fluvia Lacerda, Ashley Graham (the list goes on) are always confidently flaunting their figure in the latest trends.
Q – Where are some of your favourite places to shop for plus-sized fashion in Toronto/Canada?
My favourite boutiques in Toronto are Gussied Up, Your BIG Sister’s Closet and SexyPlus Clothing, these stores offer such a wonderful experience and carry the best in plus size fashion. Not to mention, the owners are fabulous curvy ladies! I also love checking out the latest styles at Forever 21+,Addition Elle and Dorothy Perkins at The Bay.
Q – What is your number one tip for dressing for curves?
Wear what makes you feel beautiful and confident! No matter what the latest trend is or what style you are told to wear based on your shape, it’s important to dress your curves in what makes your feel the best.
Q – Where do you want to be in 10 years?
In 10 years, I hope that DARE is seen as one of Canada’s top fashion and beauty magazines! I believe that it’s extremely important to embrace diversity and to address women of all shapes and sizes in fashion. Thanks to plus size models, bloggers, readers and magazines, the importance of catering to all women has recently made a huge mark on the fashion industry. I hope that these changes continue over the next 10 years and that DARE can continue to be the voice of us curvy ladies.
All photos courtesy of DARE Magazine