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Brandi Fowler

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An Atlanta designer turns ikat remnants into scrunchies, headbands, and handbags

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Mollie Nitzken’s new accessories company “happened by accident,” she says. During buying trips to Turkey for the rug store where she worked, she fell in love with Central Asian textiles and prints. After launching her own to-the-trade fabric company, Slightly East, she started creating scrunchies from remnants and selling them to friends, eventually offering them on Instagram. “I never knew this would become a company,” Nitzken says. The Atlanta-based designer launched her retail site, Maas by Slightly East, in September and expanded the line to include handwoven silk ikat headbands, colorful scarves, and turbans (from $24 to $78). A customizable handbag line was added in December (from $375). Shoppers can choose from dozens of colors of Spanish leather, 50 different silk patterns, and four different shapes to create their own one-of-a-kind bags. shopmaas.com

Maas by Slightly East Tie scrunchie
Tie scrunchie, $46

Photograph by Cori Carter

Maas by Slightly East Scrunchie
Scrunchie, $24

Photograph by Cori Carter

Maas by Slightly East Headband
Headband, $78

Photograph by Cori Carter

This article appears in our January 2020 issue.

At Lenox Square, plus-size shop Eloquii shows off its Insta-famous style

Eloquii storefront
Inside an Eloquii store

Photograph courtesy of Eloquii

When the Limited shuttered its plus-size store, Eloquii, not even two years after its 2011 launch, a few of its creators were so devoted to the concept that they broke off and took it online. Walmart acquired the company in 2018, and its seventh brick-and-mortar opened at Lenox Square this winter. Fueling the Insta-famous label’s growth are high-profile collaborations with the likes of Jason Wu, Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James, and Refinery29.

“We’re a completely different vibe,” says Eloquii CEO Mariah Chase. “When we relaunched the brand in 2014, we saw an opening in fashion: really high quality, a tremendous amount of attention to fit, and also something that was more trend-forward.”

Eloquii model
Blazer: $130, trousers: $90, Eloquii at Lenox Square, eloqui.com

Photograph courtesy of Eloquii

Plus-size fashion is taking off nationwide. Stores like Nordstrom, Anthropologie, Old Navy, and Target are offering more options. And plus-size models like Ashley Graham and Precious Victoria Lee have scored covers of fashion magazines and high-profile endorsement deals. After all, the average U.S. women’s dress size is between 14 and 16. As Eloquii notes, “Fashion doesn’t stop at size 12.”

Prices range from around $80 to $200 for dresses and $50 to $90 for separates. Shoppers can book free personal-styling sessions. And locals will get first dibs on the brand’s new collections before they launch online.

This article appears in our January 2020 issue.

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