I was first introduced to Mac Duggal when his first ever Plus Size “This Is Why I’m Fabulous” Campaign and model search was launched. The man behind the brand, Manmohan Duggal, is someone who is passionate about fashion and wants to innovate the prom market and break barriers with his designs catered to plus size women, “rather than simply upsizing a dress suited for a smaller frame.” The line will be available for sizes 14W-30W and will include hot prints, fully beaded, two piece, high slits and other on trend designs that other designers steer away from.
I had the opportunity to chat with Mac and speak more in-depth on what inspired him to create a line exclusively for plus size teens and women who often go unrepresented in the fashion industry, as well as what makes this campaign special.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your brand?
My given name is Manmohan Duggal but my friends have always called me Mac. I was born in New Delhi, India in 1960.
About the Brand
The Mac Duggal brand is positioned at the high end of the women’s special occasion dress market and includes eleven different collections driven by Designer Mac Duggal’s artistic, modern and luxurious design with couture-inspired fit and sizing. Today, Mac presents a collection of classic designs curated with a youthful sophistication that both marks the moment and redefines tomorrow.
Mac Duggal opened the first design house just over 30 years ago in Chicago, Illinois. It is Mac Duggal’s one-of-a-kind styles, sophisticated and contemporary aesthetic and influential designs that have made them a staple in Couture wear spanning the globe in over 5 continents and 32 countries. From fashion editor to celebrity stylist, movie star to headline entertainer, pageant winner to prom queen – Mac Duggal’s designs are spotlighted, worn and coveted around the globe.
Mac Duggals first collection, Creative Creations, was a line of dazzling gowns blending Indian beauty and elegance with Western styling. Proud of his heritage, Mac Duggal has always designed using glorious fabrics and colors that are hot and spicy like the fashion and cuisine of his homeland. Today, Mac Duggal continues to provide fresh inspiration and set trends in silhouette, color, and designs.
Why did you choose fashion as your creative outlet?
It came from within; I just wanted to just go and create something on my own. I didn’t even know what I was going to create. I was just going to carve my own path and make my mark. I had this energy inside of me. I could work twenty-two hours and not even feel the need to sleep, get up, and do it all over again. I felt unstoppable. I was just going to do it. If I failed I was going to keep on going and create something new. I always knew I wanted to be a successful entrepreneur and I could never resist the “smell” of rhinestones, sparkle and glitter.
What do you love most about being a designer?
I believe there are two dresses every woman in America remembers: her prom gown; and her wedding gown. In the last three decades, my gowns have contributed to these women’s unforgettable experiences. I am thrilled that thousands of people have made me a part of their important milestones. All during their lives, when they look back at pictures or reflect on those precious moments, Mac Duggal will be the one helping to put a smile on their faces.
What changes do you most want to see in the fashion industry?
Fashion is a fast changing industry. It changes before you can blink, and it keeps you on your toes. I needed to work with a lot of integrity and a clear vision. When we started, I was known for my embellishments, my flamboyant styles, and I have changed with the times. I always had a great love and passion for style all of my life. I get my inspiration from women themselves. Knowing your clientele is so important and if you love fashion as I do you can transform these beautiful women through fashion. I am inspired by the challenge of changing trends and keeping the designs fashion forward. From sleek and streamlined silhouettes to intricate drapings and body conscious shapes that garner attention to more jeweled, beaded, embroidered and embellished styles – each present an early indicator to the upcoming season’s trends with an exquisite attention to detail that are the hallmark of an authentic Mac Duggal design.
What exactly will be This Is Why I’m Fabulous and what inspired you to launch such a campaign?
Over the course of the last two years a revolution has emerged in the plus size market, however, this revolution has not reached the teen age market. We are launching this campaign [This Is Why I’m Fabulous] to find everyday, real plus size models; no matter height or size breaking the barriers of what a “true” plus size model should be in the fashion industry. Plus size is not a size 8 or 10 like so many of the plus size super models. We are looking for two or three models who can serve as ambassadors to the program.
Do you think you will receive criticism for promoting plus-sized fashion?
We must believe in ourselves and do everything through our heart. If we want to succeed we must focus on our passion and give it all we have. I believe some door or somebody’s door will open up somewhere and show us the light and guide us on our own beautiful path. From what I have seen, no two people in the world take the same journey. Remember everybody has this energy, just listen to it carefully. This voice will always guide you on the right path. I believe a loud voice cannot compete with a clear voice even if it is a whisper. Just relax, sit back, and let the journey unfold.
What do you think is the most special part about designing for plus size women?
I have found that more teen girls than ever are buying plus size gowns for prom. This comes from a teenage customers desire to be able to buy the same clothing as their friends, plus size or not. Today’s young consumers know what they want and won’t settle for less. Our customer wants to feel on trend. This may includes ruffles, off the shoulder tops and yes, even the crop top, which might surprise some plus size skeptics.
In my plus size collection “Fabulouss” we design to encourage self love. We are about body positivity. I love to hear that girls have come out of a retailer’s dressing room and start to cry because they finally have clothing that fits them and makes them feel good.
You can follow Mac Duggal on social media as @macduggal and see what’s new at www.macduggal.com. If you’re interested in becoming a positive and strong role models for young girls and apply to their camping, visit macduggalblog.com/this-is-why-im-fabulous. The submission deadline is January 27, 2017.