Why This Outspoken Designer Only Uses Plus-Size Models

Here at R29, we consider it our duty to introduce you to any new clothing line that deserves your dough. Trust us when we say you are definitely going to want to belly up to the bar for Rum + Coke.
Filled with curve-flaunting designs in appealing prints, vivid colors, and lush fabrics, the brand keeps its prices affordable (from $48 to $200), its sizes inclusive (from small to 3XL), and its product shots true-to-life. Unlike many labels — plus-size or not — Rum + Coke shoots on women whose bodies are refreshingly similar to our own.
There's a reason its ethos feels so in touch with the current mood of fashion shoppers: R + C was just started in 2013 when designer Courtney Smith struck out on her own (after shaking off a career in finance) to see if she couldn't fill a gap in retail offerings herself. With NYC serving as her chic point of inspiration, and women of all kinds, everywhere, her target demo, she did just that. We sat down with Smith to hear more about her body-positive mindset, to ask if she was tipsy when she came up with that name, and to shake loose her thoughts on what's happening in fashion for women in sizes above an "L." Drink it in, ahead.

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