Laura Agudelo Is Living Large
In beauty-obsessed Bogotá, a plus-size fashionista challenges Colombia’s cultural norms, inspiring thousands of Latin American ladies to look good and feel great at any size.
Photos courtesy Laura Agudelo; collage by Chelsea Stahl
Laura Agudelo grew up amidst a labyrinth of colors and patterns. In the small, sweltering town of Viotá, Colombia, her grandparents owned the best and biggest fabric store around. There, the petite little girl would help her grandmother in the store for hours, unrolling huge tubes of floral, plaid and striped prints and re-folding the textiles into small squares, organizing them by color and style for the customers. She loved the feel of the fabrics between her hands, the way they could make seemingly endless combinations of styles.
She and her younger sister Milena loved to transform the store into their own personal runway, becoming models for the stream of blouses, dresses and skirts their grandmother sewed. The girls yearned to be just like their mother, one of the most elegant, well-dressed women in all of Viotá — always bien arreglada, or well-put-together — who taught them the value of grace and sophistication in “everything…
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