Most fashion brands have only recently incorporated extended sizing into their offerings, but QVC and HSN have been designing up to 3X — without comprising aesthetic, quality or affordability — since 1990. Now, the plus-size pioneers are hosting a virtual body positivity summit with the help of celebs like Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Hunter McGrady and former What Not to Wear makeup artist Carmindy.
Entitled “QVC Presents: Inclusively You, Powered by Create & Cultivate,” the free event is set to take place on Tuesday, Sept. 29, from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. EST. It will give attendees the opportunity to interact with influential women (including Nicolette Mason, Tai Beauchamp and Chelsea Olivia) who are working to change the conversation surrounding size inclusivity and body positivity.
Those who tune into the summit will learn how to find the “perfect outfit” for their size and shape and look their best for virtual meetings amid the coronavirus pandemic. Panel conversations will also cover all things beauty, the “plus perspective” and the idea that size is not a trend.
"Shopping for fashion should be fun, empowering, and accessible for all women, everywhere, so this event will be a celebration of body positivity," Rachel Ungaro, GMM and Vice President, Multiplatform Buying for QVC and HSN's apparel division, said in a press release. "We celebrate diversity in all its forms, colors, shapes and sizes, and believe that everybody deserves a great shopping experience that makes them feel included and helps them look and feel fabulous."
Ahead of the event, PEOPLE caught up with McGrady — who became the first size 16 model to appear in the coveted Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue in 2017 — to talk all things confidence and body positivity, learn more about the new fall collection from her clothing brand All Worthy Hunter McGrady (which launched exclusively with QVC earlier this year) and find out why she initially wanted to collaborate with the iconic retailer.
"A lot of times, brands will kind of jump on the bandwagon and [be inclusive] for a little bit but it doesn't feel very authentic," she tells PEOPLE, whereas, "QVC has always been authentic. They have always been a champion for inclusivity. They have always been diverse."
McGrady, a longtime advocate for body positivity and self-love, calls working with QVC a "seamless marriage" because the company's ethics align with her own. "I was not willing to waver on my morals and values when it came to developing my own brand, so the fact that they had the whole package was spectacular to me."
All Worthy Hunter McGrady is the model's first fashion brand, and it is QVC's first line that carries up to size 5X. The brand has a mix of basics — like jersey short-sleeve shirts and everyday denim — as well as on-trend pieces – like tie-dye loungewear sets and a faux leather jumpsuit — in sizes XXS-5X, and many in tall, regular and petite.
"The line is really a mix of everything I had always dreamt of having but was never available in my size," she shares. "It kind of represents all these different versions of myself, the women I look up to, women around the world. We really have a great mix of everything."
Reflecting on the affordable yet high-quality designs, McGrady adds, "QVC works really, really hard to make sure everything is the highest of high-quality but still available to the masses. You feel good purchasing it because you're buying something that you could potentially keep forever and pass down. You trust it."
The model says finally getting to share her All Worthy Hunter McGrady designs with consumers earlier this year was "really surreal," and having the response be overwhelmingly positive was even more rewarding.
"I put so much love into and intention into this. I'm really hands on with everything. I'm there from the sketch to the fabric to the fitting to try-ons, everything," she says. "Then to see [the designs] come to life and have people fall in love with them was just a really incredible feeling."
Aside from her size-inclusive clothing brand, McGrady also empowers women and promotes self-acceptance through social media. Her Instagram feed is filled with un-retouched photos and totally relatable captions about everything from butt "pimples" and stretch marks, to confidence and feeling sexy in workout clothes because, "We put such a pressure on women these days to be a certain way, and I personally think it's BS."
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LETS TALK ABOUT BUTTS!!!! Earlier today I shared a story basically telling my followers that I don’t remember a time where I DIDNT have some kind of ingrown or pimple in between my legs and on my butt. I got an influx of DMs from both women AND men saying that they felt they were the ONLY ones to experience this. Welp. Let’s normalize it!!!! I’ve never in my life had a smooth, pimple free butt, I’ve never had smooth inner thighs that didn’t have discoloration or ingrowns, and I’ve never been without cellulite and stretch marks! It’s important to remember that what we see on social media is quite literally a “perfected” version of ourselves (I’m guilty of this too sometimes) and because we’re so used to seeing that in others, we feel alone in instances like this but alas, You’re very much not alone. Let’s be butt pimple friends, welcome to the club 😆❤️
"I'm not going to shy away from calling it what it is," she says. "When I was younger, if I had social media, I would have just yearned for someone to talk about all these things that are very normal, especially for women… I think it's so important to share that we're human."
"I always get asked, 'How are you confident? How do you do this? How do you get here?' Listen, confidence isn't a destination; It's a journey," she shares. "I always say, 'Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is confidence.' You're constantly chipping away at it. You're constantly growing and evolving."
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