Your own piece of Essex, for just 35. TOWIE girl Gemma Collins' launches 1million plus-size fashion range today
UK and U.S. retailers snap up the collection
Curvy TV star hits back at Twitter trolls that called her a whale
Toyboy Arg says he loves her fuller figure
Blonde defends her 'showmance' with co-star
Range set to make 1million for the size 18 star
16:23 GMT, 11 July 2012
Today TOWIE star Gemma Collins hit back at the haters as she launches her debut fashion collection.
Often criticised for being overweight the size 18 blonde will be having the last laugh as her designs, including the 35 draped 'Essex' dress, a drop-hemmed 'Zanzibar' tunic top and 65 Versace inspired maxi dress named Rome, are set to make the reality star from Romford over 1million.
The fifty piece collection,which caters for size 14-22 and launches today on her own website, has already been snapped up by retailers in the U.S. and the UK.
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Built for curves: The 35 Essex dress features clever draping around the arms and stomach and the 65 Rome maxi dress features straps wide enough to cover sturdy bra straps
Scallop hem: the 75 Holland dress
Pink lady: In the 35 Los Angeles tunic top
Monochrome: The 35 Zanzibar waterfall jacket
In an interview to celebrate the launch this weekend
fashion mad Gemma describes how being a success is the best way to hit
back at the bullies and why her frustration at the British high street led to her creating her own clothes.
Since first appearing in the reality show Gemma has been subject to relentless
online abuse from people about her size, with nicknames including whale, monster and a fatty being thrown at her by vicious and mostly anonymous tweeters.
But the voluptuous reality star
is not worried about what the Twitter trolls say.
She says: 'It makes me laugh to think
people take the mick out of my size, but I’ve made being larger actually
very profitable. On top of that I’ve met the man of my dreams. As far
as I’m concerned that’s enough to answer any critics… frankly, they
can kiss my a***!'
Excited: The Romford blonde's plus-sized range launches on Wednesday
Fed up of the shapeless, ugly clothes
that are on offer for women of a certain size the bubbly blonde decided
she wanted to help larger women in the same position as her if she ever
got the opportunity.
'Like all Essex girls I like to look glam
and sexy at the weekend. Just because I’m a bigger girl doesn’t mean I
don’t want to look my best.
'I always promised myself if I was in
the position to help larger ladies I would. And now I have. With this
collection, I’ve worked with a great team. I helped to draw the designs,
picked the fabrics, made decisions about the colours and I couldn’t be
Not a 'showmance': Gemma says her relationship with co-star Arg is the real thing
Sunbathing in 'Marbs': The couple tweeted pictures of themselves on their first romantic holiday
The man of her dreams that she mentions is her co-star and new toyboy 24-year-old James ‘Arg’ Argent.
After being friends for years the pair started dating a few weeks ago and have just returned from their first couples holiday – in Marbella of course.
They are inseparable, spending hours at each others' houses and often pictured kissing and cuddling at events.
This weekend they were pictured falling out of Essex hot spot Faces
night club together with gentlemanly Arg propping up a rather tipsy
Gemma and tweeting: 'My poor @missgemcollins bit 2 much 2 drink tonight!
Iv got 2 act my age instead of a 18 year old that i usually act like
and look after her!'
Gemma wooed food lover Arg – who also struggles with his weight – by topping up the bread basked on their first date.
Toy boy: At 24 Arg is seven years younger than cougar Gemma
'He’s good looking, a bit bigger and loves his food. We just get on so well and this is no ‘showmance’ just for TV. We’re not calling ourselves ‘boyfriend’ and ‘girlfriend’ but I’m hoping that’s the way it’s heading.'
So far so showbiz, but life hasn't always been sweet for this glamorous Essex girl.
Gemma puts her weight issues down to early heartbreak and the subsequent loss of her unborn baby.
Before a significant break-up in her early 20s she was petite size 10, but losing her boyfriend and her baby meant that she turned to comfort eating and within a year had piled on five stone tipping the scales at 16st and ballooning to a size 22.
Doctors also told her that she had an insulin problem which would make it hard to maintain a healthy weight.
On the town: Wearing a 45 print dress mini dress from M&S on a night out in Faces
Hometime: Arg takes the lead – and Gemma's handbag – after a heavy night in Essex
Since then Gemma’s battle with her waistline has been well publicised and stints with personal trainers and in various boot camps meant that she has continued to yo-yo between size 14 and 18.
But the new romance, and a blossoming career in fashion means that she is finally happy in her own skin, and when sales from the new collection come rolling in her trademark grin will be getting even wider.
Not bad for a former car sales woman from Romford.
The Gemma Collins Collection is available from Wednesday from www.gemmacollinsofficial.com
Getting physical: In lycra to support Cancer Research UK's night-time walking marathon Shine.
VIDEO: Gemma opens up about TOWIE, pie and mash, and new boyfriend Arg…