It only took 11 years and fourteen seasons, but Project Runway finally awarded the grand prize to Ashley Tipton – the first all plus-size designer on the show.
The incredible show was the first of its kind seen on the series and presented a beautiful, cohesive collection that captured the beauty and grace of everyday women.
Ashley, 24, said her collection was designed with the intention to make curvy women feel comfortable, glamorous and most importantly – beautiful, in their clothes.
“This was the opportunity that I was given to showcase who I really am as a designer,” Tipton told People. “I had to show that this is what I design, and this is what I know.”
Her 1950’s inspired dresses were all part of her plan to “put plus-size on the map.”
“When somebody tells me I can’t do something, I prove them wrong.”
But her inspiring collection, unfortunately has not been received without criticism. Many on social media blasted Project Runway, stating that their decision was based on the will to ‘create history’ over the talent of the designer.
“People think the only reason I won is because I had a plus-size collection,” Tipton told TheWrap. “But we also have to think, at the end of the day, my collection was cohesive. My collection was wearable. My collection can also go for straight-sized women.”
Whilst Ashley is not surprised at the backlash she has experienced, she is disappointed that people seem to be lambasting her for her size, rather than applauding her for her groundbreaking work.
“It doesn’t sit right with me that people are saying that. It hurts because it shows that they’re not accepting to plus-size. That’s basically what it is. They don’t approve of it. On the other side, there are way more positive comments coming, and I have to just look at that side and not look at the negative side of it.”
“It made history because this is something that should’ve already happened in this industry and shouldn’t be in the shadows anymore.”
What do you think of Ashley’s designs?