Torrid is now in “The Loop”! Chicago’s downtown Loop, that is. The Grand Opening of Torrid’s Chicago Flagship was Wednesday, April 8, 2015. Located at 7 North State Street, this is the plus-size fashion brand’s tenth location in Chicago.
Women were lined up outside the store and down the sidewalk for the event, which started at noon and was hosted by Fashion Stylist George Kostiopoulos, former host of E!’s Fashion Police. Attendees enjoyed drinks and appetizers, while winners were selected for prizes including a few grand prize shopping sprees, styled by George himself! He even gave styling tips to partygoers. Torrid’s super-lovely models, Philomena Kwao and brand ambassador Georgina Burke greeted and mingled with guests as well.
I met the stunning British Torrid model Philomena Kwao, who was urged to try out at a modeling agency while studying for her masters degree in health management and economics. She told me she never thought she would be able to use her modeling to influence people about health, inner beauty and self esteem. Kwao is able to use her masters degree in a powerful way!
The face of Torrid is angel-faced Australian model Georgina Burke. She told me growing up her idol was fashion model Crystal Wren, “when she was plus size” she pointed out. When Georgina first got into modeling six years ago she was “told to lose a ton of weight” but she said “Nope, this is who I am!” and she became a successful plus size model. Burke told me that plus size technically starts at size 8, but Torrid sizes are 12-28. Her styling tips? “Accentuate what you have, wear accessories and jewelry, add a belt to show off your curves, or put on some killer heels. I’m 6 foot and I like to wear really high heels!”
Chicago loves George Kostiopoulos as much as we at Second City Style do! He was very appreciative when so many women (including me) told him they miss him on Fashion Police. I asked him how he got connected with Torrid. He styled a few of their campaigns and likes the brand because there is “a lack of cool plus size places that are not matronly.” Torrid certainly fits the bill. On styling plus size women, he says “There are no different rules for plus-size, you style what flatters the person and highlight the positive and what makes them feel good.” What’s next for George? “I’m working on my next TV gig, if I knew what it was I would tell you more! And tomorrow I am presenting my QVC line,” he told me.
Torrid is the fastest growing plus-size fashion brand offering fashion for sizes 12 to 28 and I think they were wise to open their flagship location in the historic shopping district of Chicago, “in the Loop.”
Visit Torrid’s Flagship at 7 N State Street in Chicago and at Torrid.com.
– Carol Calacci
Photos: Second City Style