Q & A with Peggy Howell
The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) holds an annual convention every year. This year the convention runs from August 2nd to August 6th. NAAFA decided to rev things up another notch by having this year’s fashion show hosted by Tigress Osborn and her Full Figure Entertainment Models on Saturday August 4, at 7 p.m.
This year’s convention is in San Francisco and the fashion show will be held at the Westin San Francisco Airport Hotel. The clothing featured will be from SFBA’s plus size fashion designers and those who are participating in NAAFA’s annual Vendor Fair. A fresh face in design will be chosen to receive the 2012 NAAFA Plus-Size Fashion Design Scholarship as well as unveiling the winner’s first design.
Peggy Howell, the PR Director for NAAFA, chatted with me about this upcoming event:
Moe: How many years has NAAFA been organizing conventions?
Peggy Howell: NAAFA was founded in 1969 and began organizing conventions in the early 1970’s.
Moe: What is the main purpose of the convention?
Peggy Howell: The convention is a major fund raising effort for the organization and offers members an opportunity to come together, learn, share, dance, swim and enjoy the company of like minded individuals.
Moe: This year the fashion show is hosted by Tigress Osborn. Why did you decide on partnering for this event?
Peggy Howell: We feel that it is important to involve the local size acceptance community members in the area in which we are holding our convention. It is important to form alliances to strengthen the movement. Involving a community leader like Tigress helps strengthen all our efforts.
Moe: Do you have to be a member to attend the fashion show (or other events)?
Peggy Howell: When you attend a NAAFA event, your admission fee includes a one year membership in our organization so everyone who attends becomes a member.
Moe: Who are some of the designers who will be showcasing their fashions?
Peggy Howell: We will have Jennifer from Astarte, Dorez and Anna from Annalogy, KZ from Big Babez Boutique, Satu from Big on Batik, Joyce Roberts from Rogers Wear, Bertha Pearl of Size Queen and more…
Moe: On the 4th and 5th there will also be a “vendor fair” with currently about twelve vendors running during the day that is open to the public free of charge. What exactly is a vendor fair and how would it be of benefit to visitors?
Peggy Howell: The vendor fair is a shopping opportunity for the plus size community and convention attendees where the designers named above will be selling their clothing. There will be other vendors as well selling jewelry, art, gift items, books and more; all created with the size acceptance community in mind. It is the opportunity for you to meet some of these people face to face and buy their products which you might not be able to find anywhere else.
Moe: NAAFA is more than a yearly convention and fashion show, what kinds of things do they work on throughout the year?
Peggy Howell: NAAFA was the beginning of the size acceptance movement. Founded in 1969, NAAFA is a non-profit civil rights organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for fat people. NAAFA works to eliminate discrimination based on body size and provide fat people with the tools for self-empowerment through public education, advocacy, and member support. In the last few years, we have upgraded many of our brochures for physicians, therapists, fitness professionals and one regarding travel. We have created tool kits that make a case for size diversity to employers and help for our children who are so under attack, even by our own government agencies. All these materials are available to view on our website.