Ify Ufele Stole Fashion Week and My Heart

inspireRegular readers know that I’m not much of a Fatshionista, though I’m happy to fight for other fatties to be able to get their fashion on.  But I saw the story of Egypt “Ify” Ufele and I couldn’t not write about it.

Ify is the creator of chubiiline, a plus size fashion line that is “bringing Africa to America one design at a time.”  Let me let Ify tell you about it:



Sparking conversations and inspiring the imagination, with a vision that cannot be taught, and must be personally experienced


Harnessing creativity and perfecting the craft with practical experience.


Ever-advancing my skills and perspective, I’m only as good as my last design.


Seeing what other designers won’t, capturing what others can’t.


I am a 10 year old designer taking the fashion industry by storm.  I consider myself nothing less than a chronicler of the human condition, for better or worse. When you see my designs, I think you’ll agree.

Damn right I agree! And not just because at 10 years old she has a fashion line and I spent the entire day in pajamas (it’s my one day off this week from from IRONMAN training, don’t judge.) The inspiration for her fashion line came from bullying she dealt with in school because of her size, including a student who stabbed her with a pencil. (This is the world that diet culture and the “war on childhood obesity” has wrought. Please resist the urge to act like her success is somehow the “silver lining’ to the bully cloud – there is not a silver lining to bullying, her fashion line should have been able to develop with tons of support and without having to overcome bullying and sizeism.)

But regardless, Ify got it done, rocking the red carpet at fashion week with her beautiful designs. (Images from Instagram, follow her at @bullychasers)

The Body Love Obstacle Course

The second preview video for the Body Love Obstacle Course is now available – we talk about strategies to deal with negative body messages from the media, and for dealing with people who body shame you “for your own good,” and more!  You can check it out here!

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5 thoughts on “Ify Ufele Stole Fashion Week and My Heart

  1. I had no idea that the designer was 10 years old until I had the chance to read the article. Beautiful! She is so talented! I love the fabrics as well.

  2. Oh, my gosh! I love those clothes! And LOOK! She manages to design for fat and thin and in between. And they hang well! Look at those hems – straight, right across the board, regardless of the size and shape of the model! This girl is FANTASTIC!

    She, at a mere ten years old, is better at her job than the vast majority of adult, professional designers, who only know how to design clothes to look good on a hanger.

    Oh, my gosh!

    I want to show this to my niece. She doesn’t sew, but she loves art and creating stuff, and this is so inspiring! I’m not saying my niece should take up clothing design. She should pick her own dream, and take inspiration where she may.

    I’m not going to say “If a 10-year-old girl can do it, so can you,” because PFFFTT! That reasoning stinks. We all have different situations and obstacles, talents, gifts, support networks, and resources, and some of us simply aren’t going to be able to do that. It’ not fair to compare ourselves with others. We never see the whole picture, and it almost always leads to self-esteem issues.

    I will say that if a 10-year-old girl can do this, there is hope, for anyone with a dream and a good support network, to improve on what they already have.

    It’s OK to take inspiration and excitement from watching the success of others. Sort of like watching the Olympics. Nobody in their right mind says, “If so-and-so can become an Olympian, anyone can!” Because that is ridiculous. And yet, people all over the world watch those games, say, “Woooooow!” and frequently decide to try out a new sport, because they are inspired. And even if they find they are lousy at it, if they take pleasure in the activity (me-bowling), and just enjoy their bodies a bit more than they did before, that’s wonderful.

    Also, THIS is how you stick it to the bullies. You don’t give them your lunch money, and say “Hah! Take THAT! I did exactly what you asked for, PBpbpbpbpbptttt!” (which is basically what those make-over shows where someone who was bullied for their appearance, then loses weight through surgery, and gets professional make-up, made-to-order clothes, and a professional hair-stylist to work with them, and then they walk out on stage, looking conventionally attractive, and say, “What do you think of me NOW?” really are). No. She didn’t change to suit her bullies. She rose above them.

    I just want to give her a great big hug!

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