If you’ve read a piece on plus size fashion, Gianluca Russo probably wrote it. Not only is he writing about the plus size community, Gianluca created a community, The Power of Plus. I got to chat with him about his upcoming book, his passion for giving the plus size community a voice, and his own story. Get comfortable, this is a good one!

Photography by Bri Arreguin-Malloy

Listen to the Episode:

Gianluca Russo is freelance fashion and culture writer. You can find his writing in Teen Vogue, GQ. Glamour, InStyle.  Additionally, he writes a monthly column for NYLON titled “Plus Us” that explores the many ways the plus-size community is discriminated against in our society today.  On top of that, Gianluca is working on a book, “The Power of Plus” from Chicago Review Press that will be released in 2022. So good, right?

Photography by Amanda Lundgren

The Power of Plus Community

Did you know that plus size women make up 68% of the population in the US with a market worth over 20 billion dollars? At the same time, this is community that is often ignored by brands. Moreover, it is segment of the population that receives negative messages from society. I, as a woman with curves, have felt it. Cue Gianluca and the Power of Plus Community.

Gianluca discussed The Power of Plus, a size-inclusive digital community, that he co-founded. This community focuses on a push towards a more inclusive future. Gianluca describes it as “the GirlBoss for Curvy Women”. The Power of Plus aims to empower women of all body types and create a safe space for them. This platform also hosts virtual panels on a variety of topics that impact the plus size community. Gianluca and his co-founder, Shammara Lawrence, are planning to expand The Power of Plus to include networking events and work with brands.

Photography by Marilyn La Jeunesse

The Gap Between Brands and the Plus Size Community

We got into gap between the plus size community and brands. Gianluca mentioned that the brands that are getting plus size fashion right are the ones who gather input from the community. For instance, they work with plus size influencers and listen to the consumers. Also, Gianluca mentioned that journalism can be that bridge between the brands and the plus size community.

The Power of Story Telling

Gianluca gave us a preview of what his upcoming book, The Power of Plus, and why he decided to write it. We went back to Fashion Week 2019. This is when Gianluca boldly set out to write 10 pieces on plus size fashion within the same month as Fashion Week (note: This is when I discovered Gianluca!). These 10 pieces provided him with an opportunity to hear about the stories of trailblazing women in plus size fashion. Gianluca shared that he soon discovered that there was so much more to these stories than he had expected. All of these stories together, as a collective, is was led to him writing The Power of Plus.

Exceeding Expectations and Deserving of Excellence

Finally, we talked about Gianluca’s personal story and how dance fueled his confidence. He mentioned that through dance he learned about his body and realized that he didn’t have to limit himself. Additionally, we discussed how it is ok to have bad days. He noted how self love is a journey. Self love is something that I also talked about in another episode here. It is alright to feel less confident some days. At the same time, Gianluca emphasized that we are all deserving of excellence on those days too! I told you this was good, right?

Where you can find Gianluca Russo

Instagram @g_russo1 , @thepowerofplus.co , and his site.

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