OneStopPlus Partners with FIT for the Curvy Awards: A Design Challenge that Empowers Designers to Create Plus-size Fashion

Bronx Native, Dominican-born Student Mariela Garcia Castro Named First Place Winner

NEW YORK (March 13, 2024) – OneStopPlus (OSP), a leading online retailer known for its size-inclusivity, has partnered with the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) to inspire a new generation of fashion designers to pursue careers in the plus-size fashion industry.  The OSP x FIT Curvy Awards were created to challenge emerging fashion designers to create innovative fashion choices for women who wear sizes 12 and up. 

FIT fashion design students were given the opportunity to create an original style for the OSP brand of their choice.  The winner, Knitwear student Mariela Garcia Castro, Fashion Design BFA ‘24, received a $5,000 cash prize for her “Graceful Ties Dress” design. The runner up, Jennifer Sandoval, Fashion Design BFA ‘24, received a $2,500 cash award for her “Flore” dress design.  As part of their prize package, both winners have also accepted paid summer 2024 internships with OSP at the company’s New York City headquarters.

Dominican-born, Bronx native Garcia Castro’s winning “Graceful Ties Dress” is made of cotton spandex jersey, reflecting her passion for knitwear’s more forgiving attributes when it comes to designing for curvy figures. Garcia Castro approached her design with attractiveness and wearability in mind; she drew from her personal experience as a plus-size woman, as well as the trauma she endured growing up in a society that made her feel bad about her size. “Never underestimate the healing power of fashion,” says Garcia Castro. “I’m so grateful to OneStopPlus for seeing the merits of my design, and I’m excited about the internship opportunity to learn what it takes to build a successful brand,” added Garcia Castro.

Ari Nakamura, FIT alumna, and head of design & style at OSP, served as a judge for the contest. The clever lace-up details of Garcia-Castro’s design caught her attention immediately. “Her design is remarkable,” says Nakamura. “Mariela’s emphasis on personalized fit is not just commendable but essential to our industry. Her lace-up design feature has the potential to accommodate the great majority of plus-size women. OneStopPlus is thrilled to support a talented young designer who brings such a unique and fresh perspective.”

“OneStopPlus has been a great supporter of FIT with contests designed to expose students to the growing field of plus-size design and its lucrative career opportunities,” says GerardDellova, adjunct assistant professor, Fashion Design / International Coordinator, The Fashion Institute of Technology.

About The Fashion Institute of Technology
A part of the State University of New York, FIT has been a leader in career education in art, design, business, and technology throughout its history. Providing more than 8,000 students with an uncommon blend of hands-on, practical experience, theory, and a firm grounding in the liberal arts, the college offers a wide range of affordable programs that foster innovation and collaboration. Its distinctive curriculum is geared to today’s rapidly growing creative economy, including fields such as computer animation, toy design, production management, film and media, and cosmetics and fragrance marketing. Internationally renowned, FIT draws on its New York City location to provide a vibrant, creative community in which to learn. The college offers nearly 50 majors and grants AAS, BFA, BS, MA, MFA, and MPS degrees, preparing students for professional success and leadership in the new creative economy. Among notable alumni in fashion are Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Norma Kamali, Reem Acra, Brian Atwood, Stephen Burrows, Dennis Basso, Francisco Costa, Nanette Lepore, Bibhu Mohapatra, Daniel Roseberry,

Ralph Rucci, John Bartlett, Peter Do, and Michelle Smith. Other prominent graduates include Leslie Blodgett, creator of bareMinerals; international restaurant designer Tony Chi; and Nina Garcia, editor-in-chief of Elle.

About OneStopPlus

A leader in extended sizes and pioneer in size inclusive fashions, (OSP) is part of the FULLBEAUTY Brands family of premier fashion websites for plus-size women and big & tall men. One of the world’s largest online marketplaces for plus-size women, OSP offers a multi-brand approach, serving multiple price points and multiple styles, including the largest array of extended sizes in the marketplace. features leading designs in American and European plus-size fashion, including Catherines®, Woman Within®, Jessica London®, Roaman’s®, June+Vie™, SwimSuitsForAll®, Ellos®, Active For All®, Shoes For All®, Intimates For All®, King Size®, Brylane Home®, and FullBeauty Outlet®, collectively offering more than 100 individual brands. The company recently acquired Eloquii and CUUP, which will become anchor tenants in a new FullBeauty digital mall, joined by SwimSuitsForAll and June+Vie.

For more information, contact:

Kailee Kosman (OneStopPlus) –

Ivana Cepeda (Fashion Institute of Technology) –

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