Torrid Flagship Grand Opening Review - Torrid Takes Chicago and Teaches Us That Less Isn’t Always More

The flagship grand opening is a staple right of passage in the fashion world, keeping PR firms, champagne distributors, and catering companies in business, and providing models and celebrities with yet another occasion to serve up a good smize in front of the step and repeat.  Fabulous champs, scrumptious mini crab cakes, and chocolate-drizzled rice crispy cake pops aside, I wasn't going to pass up the chance to attend this particular grand opening celebration because it marked the opening of the tenth Torrid store in Chicago, and the first ever in Chicago's famed shopping district on State Street.

accessories anyone?

a sample of the new spring styles!

 

Torrid, a fashion brand that indulges voluptuous figures sizes 12 to 28, opened their impressive 3,000 square foot space on April 8th, 2015 at 7 North State Street, between Washington and Madison in Chicago, IL.  The body positive retailer has been focusing on a re-brand that allows customers to participate in current trends, instead of simply receiving alternative styles and trends for the 'plus sized girl'.  In an industry that holds a history of being exclusive to body types that can’t manage to squeeze into its sample size, Torrid is attempting to trail-blaze the idea that every single size and shape deserves to feel gorg and confident.  Torrid will soon be sowing its sexy, edgy, cool apparel, swimwear, shoes, lingerie, and accessories coast to coast, as it plans to open sixty new stores across the country this year.  The new stores will feature fans in their more spacious dressing rooms, improved lighting, and a chic, new décor. 

dressing room chaos

 

Among the guests present at the Grand Opening was celebrity stylist and television personality George Kotsiopoulos, the Torrid spokesmodels Georgina Burke and Philomena Kwao, and the crush of excited Torrid shoppers navigating displays, mannequins, other guests, and cater waiters bearing loaded trays, in order to shop the new spring and summer styles. Two lucky shoppers won Torrid makeovers from Mr. Kotsiopoulos himself, who is probably best known as one of the former hosts on E!'s Fashion Police, but has been a brilliant celebrity stylist for years; dressing A-listers like Melissa McCarthy, Kerry Washington, and Zooey Deschanel

George and the first lucky contestant

 

styling at its finest! putting on the finishing touches

George posing with the second winning contestant of the day

 

I had the pleasure of chatting with Georgina and Philomena about being spokesmodels for the brand and their favorite Torrid pieces.  Both lovelies site the amazing experiences and chances to meet new people every day as the best things about their fabulous jobs, but note that the extensive travel and time away from their families can often be an added stressor.  Neither of them considers themselves trend-stalkers; both Georgina and Philomena prefer more classic silhouettes.  Their top Torrid picks include blazers in neutral colors like black and blush, joggers that can go from day to night, simple, cute t-shirts, sexy bodycon dresses, and distressed denim.  When girls sit down to chat, you know things are getting good when we start to really divulge.  The topic of insecurities came up as it usually tends to, and it's easy to forget that absolutely everybody is insecure about something.  The spokesmodels confided that whether it's seemingly larger feet or thicker thighs, the only way to genuinely love the skin you're in is to embrace who you are and what you were blessed with; shifting your focus to what you love about yourself, rather than what you wish you could change.

Georgina and Philomena

spokesmodel selfie!

 

As an intense and shameless George Kotsiopoulos fan, my entire day was made by simply being in the same room as that man; breathing his air and watching him effortlessly style one of the winning contestants.  He was gracious enough to make my entire life, taking some time out to answer a few of my questions, his responses are below:

 

S.C.: What brought you on board with Torrid? Aside from the grand opening, are you working on anything else with them? 

G.K.: I styled some campaigns with them years ago so I'm very familiar with the company and have been a huge fan of the brand ever since.  Hosting the opening of their first flagship was the start (hopefully) of a bigger relationship!

S.C.: What are some key things to remember for anyone when dressing for their body type?

G.K.: My best styling secret is confidence.  Regardless of how great your outfit is, if you can't hold your head up high and own it then none of it matters.  Additionally, if you don't have the right undergarments you will look a mess.  Body shapers aren't exclusively for curvy gals, they are used for certain unforgiving types of fabric like silk charmeuse or matte jersey to smooth out lines.  And finally, buck the trends and opt for looks that flatter YOUR specific body type not the runway models.

S.C.: What are the best silhouettes for curvier girls?

G.K.: The fit-n-flare dress/skirt (or coat) is the most universally flattering silhouette for all body types.  A skinny jean or legging with a hi/low tunic is a no brainer.  Lightweight layering pieces -- like a longer cardigan or shrug worn open -- are great because they divide the body to reveal only the center portion vertically.  Try an oversize, abstract print (not geometric) to any of these for a wonderful camouflage.

S.C.: What is your fav and least fav trend right now?

G.K.: I'm loving all the flats women are wearing right now -- it's a fresh and modern look.  With great posture (and a pilates class or two!) you don't always need those spindly heels to give you height.  As far as my least fav trend goes, fashion trends come and go so quickly now that I can't really think of anything that bugs me too much since nothing sticks around that long anymore! 

S.C.: If your life depended on pulling a look together and you could pick only one, which would be most important? Shoes, bag, or jewelry??

G.K.: As uncomfortable as they may be, a high heel will make even the ‘schlumpliest’ of outfits look sexy and chic so I'd take the shoe!

 

 

**To find out more about Torrid follow them on social media:

Facebook: Facebook.com/Torrid

Instagram: @Torridfashion Pinterest

Pinterest: Pinterest.com/Torridfashion

Twitter: @Torridfashion

YouTube: YouTube.com/Torridfashion

 

 

Photo Credit: Jalessa Elvia 

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