The magazine's founder, Diana Di Poce, sought to change the perspective of the industry through her thesis project. The fourth year Ryerson Fashion Communications student describes herself as being "plus-size all my life." However, despite all the fashion publications produced world-wide, she was unable to relate as there was a lack in the representation of the average woman.
Ensuring a Canadian focus was an important factor for the 22 year old. The debut edition includes the following:
- Jeanne Beker talking about her collaboration with plus-size retailer, Addition Elle
- Designer Jessica Biffi of Project Runway Canada, Karyn Johnson of fashion blog Killer Kurves and MTV Canada's Sheena Snively sharing style picks
The magazine's focus may be geared towards plus-sized women, but Di Poce's goal is to ensure that any woman is able to gain inspiration simply by looking through the magazine.
"[It's] just like how I pick up an issue of Elle or Flare...even though I won't fit these outfits and I won't look like these models, I still get inspiration from it."
Throughout the years, various publications and organizations have featured plus-size models in their campaigns, fashion shows and/or advertisements. For example: Elle Quebec featured plus-sized model Justine LeGault on the cover of their May issue. However, it's not a frequent occurrence. Efforts around the inclusion of the representation of the average woman are appreciated; however, Di Poce wants to see publications expand this past just a one-time occurrence.
"I think it's important for them to do that, but it's still seen as special," she said. "This is the average woman, so why aren't we seeing these (women) on newsstands?..Why aren't we seeing that more?"
Guidance for this project was provided by Ben Barry, Assistant Professor of Equity, Inclusivity, and Diversity for Ryerson's School of Fashion. Alongside his presence in the Ryerson community, Barry is also the CEO of the Ben Barry Agency, a Toronto-based modelling agency. This agency represents models of all ages, sizes, background and abilities.
"I think there's also resistance amongst the industry purely for institutionalized beliefs. This idea that a plus-sized woman may not be considered aspirational—even though that's very far from the truth," he said. "I think it's an industry that has followed that belief. They think that consumers all aspire to a size 2 without realizing the diversity among consumers and the diverse aspirations and diverse areas of beauty that consumers hold."
For the time being, DARE intends to remain a digital-only publication; however, there are talks about it being expanded into a quarterly publication.
This magazine has one major goal and that is to "show women that style has no size..."