CFDA and Dia&Co kicked off their partnership with the #TeeUpChange panel on Friday. The shared goal is simple: to advocate size-inclusive education to the next generation of designers.

The room at Center 415, where theCURVYcon took place, was filled with a strong sense of support, love, empowerment, and unity through conversations with panelists Nadia Boujarwah, Dia&Co’s Co-Founder & CEO, Tracy Reese; rapper, singer and body positivity advocate Lizzo, and tennis champion, designer, and entrepreneur Venus Williams. Yahoo! Style Fashion Market Editor Julie Tong served as moderator.

“When I started in the industry, the sample size was 8, then over the years it went down to size 2,” Reese, a CFDA Board Member, said. “It’s unclear why. Perhaps we can blame the waif movement. When you show most stores anything larger than a size 4 sample in a buying appointment, they don’t respond to the style.

“I also don’t understand why there is a separate area for plus sizes in most stores,” the designer added. “We should be shopping based on personal style, not by size. Larger sizes should be available on the same floor as other sizes, not way upstairs or in the basement where they play bad music. We all want to buy our clothes on the cool floor with the good music.”

“The inclusivity movement has been grass roots for many years,” added Boujarwah. “This is why design education is extremely important to us, especially the designers of tomorrow who are entering the workforce and industry. We want them to feel organic, where they can design for all women of all sizes without thinking about it.”

For the #TeeUpCampaign, the CFDA and Dia&Co tapped Lizzo, designer Marissa Petteruti of CFDA’s Fashion Future Graduate Showcase, Tracy Reese, Christian Siriano, and Venus Williams. Each created a limited-edition graphic T-Shirt with a message that advocates inclusivity in celebration of the plus-size community. The designs were produced by Everybody.World, a local LA-based manufacturer commissioned by CFDA and Dia&Co, furthering our mission of supporting domestic manufacturers. Sizes for the $35 shirts range from 0X – 5X.

Please support the mission by sharing he #TeeUpChange campaign on social media. For every social post using #TeeUpChange with the tag @diaandco, Dia&Co will donate $1 towards the campaign, in addition to the $10K seed funding already provided.

All profits from the #TeeUpChange campaign are donated to promote size inclusivity for CFDA’s Educational Initiatives Schools at the CFDA Fashion Education Summit in Spring 2019, where Dia&Co is the sponsor. Dia&Co will work with participating Educational Initiatives schools to allocate funds to inclusivity-focused projects.

“CFDA’s partnership with Dia&Co provides us with a great opportunity to catalyze our shared goals of a more inclusive fashion industry,” said CFDA’s Director of Education and Professional Development Sara Kozlowski. “Dia & Co is authentic in its commitment to this goal, and I feel strongly that the time for fashion inclusivity is now. I like the Dia&Co approach of fashion for everyone.

“Having our partnership in relation to education and the Fashion Education Summit will give us a platform to really spotlight our shared values and work towards our common goal,” she added. “The new generation is leading strongly with the norm to design for all, and with Dia&Co’s strong presence in the space, we will work together to help amplify and endorse the message.”