CandyStrike Brings Gorgeous Handmade Clothing, Radiant Attitude to Downtown

May 18, 2013

by Bree Collins


Elizabeth Denneau showing off one of her handmade pieces.

On the outskirts of Downtown, a few spaces down from Skrappy’s, is a little haven of body-positivity. CandyStrike, located at 197 E. Toole Ave., offers a stunning array of redesigned vintage clothing for plus-size women. This is frisky, adventurous plus-size clothing that women want to wear. As there is not a huge national, much less local, market for trendy plus sizes, this shop is a boon for Downtown indeed.

The brains behind the project is Elizabeth Denneau, and her passion is to combat all forms of body-shaming. “It’s fashion with a social conscience.” A native Tucsonan, Denneau has been part of the local design scene for awhile now, creating her fashion line, Siobhan, and organizing local runway shows. She loves this “wonderful, but stubborn, little town”, and appreciates that she couldn’t have a shop like CandyStrike anywhere else.

Southwestern-alternative style guides CandyStrike’s clothing, which sparkle with Mexican and Dia-de-los-Muertos influence. The newest additions are the Guadalupe skirts and swimsuits, eye-catching pieces made with gold and glitter accents that beg to be worn. The shop has plenty to offer to women of all sizes, including accessories that Denneau makes herself. Necklaces feature small, cute skulls and pastel-colored bows. Hair clips utilize buttons and funky ribbon. Painted purses deck table tops, and local art hangs on the red and pink walls. And smaller, smaller sized women need not despair – Denneau takes special orders.


Women can find sexy clothes of all sizes at CandyStrike.

CandyStrike opened in October of last year, making it a recent addition to the Downtown area. Already there have been good responses from the community, and Denneau has several loyal customers that chat with her as they browse the store. It helps that Denneau has a knack of making you feel welcome. CandyStrike is a perfect extension of the already-inclusive block as Denneau has a positive mission of her own – that every woman, no matter her size, deserves to feel sexy and experience the joy of owning their identity through clothing. Her other projects expand on this theme, including a book club that meets once a month at the shop to discuss body-positive literature and issues. The club is open to everyone and information about meetings can be found on the CandyStrike Facebook page.

Denneau plans to add hours next month, opening shop doors Wed-Fri from 12-7 and Saturday 12-6. The online shop is re-booting June 1st, and CandyStrike will celebrate with a launch party, deemed the Thick Chick Print Party, at the shop on June 8th from 7-8pm. Guests can mingle and purchase drool-worthy art prints by local artists.

The sisterhood is growing. Just let the mural of the pink cotton-candy-haired girl, painted by Denneau herself, point the way.

Find more info on the CandyStrike website.