A few years back, I attended the first ever Full Figured Fashion Week - a three-day affair in New York City that featured seminars, shopping, and, of course, fashion shows. While there, I had the pleasure of meeting a delightful designer who was then, to me, an unknown name in the fashion arena. Little did I know that in just a few short months of our meeting, she would appear as contestant on Project Runway, be featured routinely in the pages of Essence Magazine, and take the plus-size . . . or, as she would say, plus sexy fashion world by storm. This week, she appears across our tv screens once again as the featured designer on the December 2 episode of the Sundance Channel's All on the Line with Joe Zee, where the Elle Creative Director "come[s] to the rescue of designers in need of a makeover on their business."
This week, Qristyl Frazier graciously took a few moments to chat with me about her work and all that we can expect on this week's show.
What have you been up to since Project Runway? I've been doing what I always do - creating seasonal collections and staying on my grind. I recently rebranded my website and have started offering items wholesale.
How did the experience of being on Project Runway impact your career? It opened some doors, gave me a bigger platform. It allowed people to know I’m out there. But I would actually give more credit to Essence Magazine for featuring my designs. Also, BET’s Rip the Runwayhas been a great platform for me. [Qristyl was featured on the show in 2008.][caption id="attachment_1433" align="alignright" width="110" caption="Shimmering Sexy"][/caption]
How did you get the opportunity to be on All on the Line with Joe Zee? Jackie Thomas, who is now my publicist, approached me with the idea. I spoke with the producers and they really wanted me to be honest about my story. The last three years have been very difficult for me financially . . . . I have strong emotional support but not strong financial support. I’ve made real sacrifices . . . relationships . . . a home . . . . I have had to sleep on friends’ couches in order to make my dream happen. This show is allowing me to open up and share this part of my life. I want plus sexy women to know that there is a designer out there who is grinding to give them beautiful clothes to wear.
Talk to me about this term, "plus sexy." I coined this because I don’t like the term “plus size.”
Really? Why? I find it offensive. Every woman wants to adorn herself and feel sexy . . . whether it’s classy-sexy or some other type of sexy. That's why I came up with the phrase “plus sexy" . . . to try and make plus a positive.
[pullquote]Don’t forget that Qristyl Frazier Designs is offering 30% off and FREE SHIPPING on everything in her new Epitome Collection through December 2. [/pullquote]Let's talk more about All on the Line. Have you seen the episode yet? No! I don’t know what they’re going to show . . . I see it when you see it.
I know the challenge in the episode is for you to design apparel for Lane Bryant. Will we actually get to see your designs in Lane Bryant stores? That’s something I can’t talk until the show airs.
Getting back to your fashion line, what type of feedback do you get from your customers? They’re always very excited and say, “I’m so glad I found you!”
Does your line feature any businesswear? I’ve done more professional wear tops lately, but I find that my dresses and jumpsuits are what sell best. People are really looking to me to provide fun, flirty looks. My customers tell me that when they go to mainstream plus-size shops they have a hard time finding that “freakum dress" . . . and that’s where I come in![/caption]
Besides your website, where can we buy your designs? Right now my website is the primary source to find my clothes. You can check the website to find out if particular stores carry QFD. I ship all over the world – domestically and internationally (Australia, Europe, etc.). If you want QFD in your city, you can always contact me or the boutiques you frequent and we can make it happen.What will we see next from you? I’ll be featured in January issue of Elle magazine as well as Elle.com.
Well, there you have it - my exclusive interview with Qristyl Frazier! Her episode of All on the Line with Joe Zee airs on Friday, December 2 at 9:30 p.m. (ET/PT). (If, like me, you don't get the Sundance Channel, you can watch it through hulu.com.)
If you live in New York City, you can get a sneak peek tomorrow at the Viewing Party taking place on Thursday, December 1st from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Lane Bryant Fulton Street store (380 Fulton St. at the corner of Smith St., Brooklyn, NY 11201, 718-855-8300).Checking out the promo for the show, I know I will make it my business to watch - what about you? I hope everyone supports this amazing designer who has poured her heart and soul into making beautiful fashions to help us find our sexy.