Tess Holliday and Ashley Nell Tipton united at New York Fashion Week for the launch of the Project Runway winner's new collection at JCPenney

By Dave Quinn
Updated December 02, 2020 02:05 AM
Credit: Source: Tess Holliday/Instagram

Tess Holliday and Project Runway winner Ashley Nell Tipton united in New York on Tuesday, for the launch of Tipton’s Boutique+ collection at JCPenney.

The two beauties posed for photos together and hit the New York Fashion Week runway – each wearing items from Tipton’s colorful, bold collection.

“So proud of my love,” Holliday captioned her Instagram shot. “I’m about to walk the final runway show today. Congrats Ashley! Thank you for letting me be a part of your special day.”

The 31-year-old model hashtagged the sweet pic “#effyourbeautystandards” and “#hereiam” – the final phrase coming from JCPenney’s body positivity ad campaign.

“I was a target for people to make fun of, or bash,” Tipton explained in the company’s commercial, detailing how her size made life difficult growing up. “I didn’t know what was wrong with me, like, ‘Why was I so different?’ ”

Of course, the 25-year-old designer saw the success of being different – going on to be the first Project Runway designer to win with a line for curvy women.

“We’re not shy, we’re not trying to hide,” she continued in the video. “I am beautiful, I am sexy, I am everything.”

Tipton’s JCPenney collection – available in stores and on JCPenney.com – has 19 pieces. Sizes cap at 30W/5X and prices, $125 and under.

Its premiere came a year after the 25-year-old designer filmed her Project Runway finale. “I’m on Cloud 9,” she wrote on Instagram. “What a dream come true!”

Like Tipton, Holliday knows a thing or two about finding success by embracing her size. In 2015, she became the first size 22 model to sign with a major modeling agency. The 5’5″ model had previously been rejected from agencies – told she was too short and too big.

Now a mom to 10-year-old son Riley and 3-month old son Bowie Juniper, Holliday previously opened up to PEOPLE about being bullied relentlessly from her peers in her hometown of Laurel, Mississippi.

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“I was getting shoved into lockers, I was being called names,” she said. “I was getting death threats at my house. It was awful.”

Despite all the adversity she faced, Holliday – who is engaged to fiancé Nick Holliday – never gave up on her dreams to make it as a model.

“I just knew that I could do it,” she confessed. “I wasn’t the best, and I still am not the best. They key to it is just doing it.”