Gabi Gregg has created five capsule collections with Swimsuitsforall, masterminded her own plus-size line of fashion-forward pieces called Premme with her best friend and fellow curvy ambassador, Nicollette Mason and is coming out with her first lingerie collection with UK-based brand Playful Promises. But Gregg — known to most as GabiFresh — had to fight to carve out a space and voice for fuller-figured women in the fashion industry.
When the retail world turned its focus on influencers, she says, thinner bloggers were the only ones approached for brand and designer collaborations. Meanwhile plus-size bloggers, such as Mason and Greg, who have combined followings on Instagram of almost a million people, were largerly ignored. "We had to demand that we wanted stylish pieces," Gregg says. "The biggest challenge we had to overcome was proving that we exist."
Gregg had already spent a decade cultivating an engaged community of style-conscious, curvy women who felt largely excluded from the clothing industry on her blog. So when she began collaborating with brands and working on her own line, it was crucial that plus-size women were integral to the conversation.
"We wanted to feel like we were part of the design process, and not an afterthought, so when I finally starting collaborating with brands," she says. "It was very important for me to be involved in every aspect, because we were filling a gap in the market." Sixty-seven percent of women in the U.S. wear above a size 12, so it was larger than a gap — it was more like a giant, gaping hole and for retailers, it was a giant loss in opportunity for sales.
Gregg's latest foray into design is a new lingerie line that fills a gap in the intimate apparel market. "My bra size is 38HH and I've always been interested in designing lingerie for bigger cups — something that was both supportive and sexy," she says. "I had always been so bored with the beige lingerie options in my size, so when Playful Promises approached me to collaborate, I was so excited and thought it was an amazing opportunity."
Body positivity and empowerment are pillars of Gregg's personal brand and belief system and therefore, informed her approach to designing intimates. "I wanted to design lingerie that makes women feel good in their skin," she says. "Like my swimwear collections, I wanted to provide women with supportive, functional and comfortable pieces that don't compromise sexiness or style. I always bring my brand and give my pieces a wow factor — they are all statement pieces."
Her upcoming lingerie collection definitely brings the "wow" factor with its vamp aesthetic, chock full of ultra-sheer, lace pieces, cage-contouring details and seductive separates all washed in a sleek black. "I want people to feel badass in it," she says. "I hope it makes them feel sexy, confident and on top of the world."
The lingerie line comes in bra sizes: 36-38B-I cup, 40-44C-I cup and briefs & PJs sizes: 12-24. See the full Gabi Fresh x Playful Promises collection, which is available to shop now: