About Chenese Lewis
Chenese Lewis is the epitome of a sophisticated woman entrepreneur and entertainer who has gained international attention as a highly sought-after keynote speaker, expert commentator, as well as a positive body image and self-esteem advocate.
As an emcee and host, Chenese’s ability to engage her audience, her quick wit, and relatable disposition makes her an in-demand host for major fashion and beauty events. She has hosted large-scale fashion events during New York Fashion Week, Los Angeles Fashion Week, and abroad in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Chenese’s style and eloquence help elevate events to unparalleled levels of success.
Chenese made history by being the first crowned Miss Plus America in 2003 which helped give her career momentum in the plus size market. Chenese has since worked with various plus-size brands in different capacities. She has modeled for the national chain Torrid and was the Coast-to-Coast Curves Spokesperson for Ashley Stewart. A guru in the plus industry, Chenese has appeared as an expert on Dr. Phil, Huffington Post Live, and quoted in USA Today. In 2014, Ebony.com recognized Chenese as a pioneer in the plus size industry by naming her one of “The Top Six Plus Fashion Power Players in the Plus Industry” and stated that Chenese is “integral in laying the foundation for plus size fashion!”
Chenese continues to make a splash in the mainstream market as well. She graced the cover of VICE Magazine UK’s 10th anniversary issue, a mainstream publication distributed worldwide. She has also posed for the popular celebrity driven NOH8 Campaign and served as the face of Aida Cosmetics’ “Confidence and Glamour” campaign for three consecutive years. In 2015 Chenese was honored by Baton Rouge Fashion Week with the Fashion Icon Award recognizing her outstanding achievements as a fashion trailblazer from Louisiana.
Along with fashion, Chenese is also a trailblazer in the podcasting field. In 2008 she introduced her podcast, The Chenese Lewis Show – the #1 podcast for plus-size women! For over a decade, the iconic podcast has featured in-depth interviews with a wide range of industry experts, including plus size influencers and national brands. In 2010, Chenese was accepted as a media correspondent for the Essence Music Festival and participated for five years interviewing mainstream celebrities during the festivities including Boyz II Men, Gladys Knight, and a host of others.
As a philanthropist, Chenese has been a national spokesperson for several organizations, to help raise awareness for charitable causes and shed light on prominent issues. She served as president of the National Organization for Women Hollywood Chapter for two years, in addition to producing Hollywood NOW’s “Love Your Body Day” for six years from 2006-2011. The annual event to promote positive body image was officially sponsored by the City of West Hollywood. The 2010 Love Your Body Campaign, where she posed nude with America’s Next Top Model cycle 10 winner, Whitney Thompson went viral internationally and magnified Chenese’s role as a leading positive body image advocate. Media outlets worldwide covered the campaign, including E! News, Extra, and People.com.
Chenese has also been praised as an actress for her work as a cast member on B.E.T’s “Hell Date,” which was one of the most popular shows in BET history. The show allowed Chenese to showcase her impeccable improvisational and comedic skills, and kept millions tuning in weekly. Chenese also won rave reviews for her dramatic portrayal of Connie Williams, a larger-than-life professional baseball player in the NAACP Award-winning play “The Girls of Summer,” set in the 1940s.
Chenese is frequently booked for lectures at national workshops, seminars and universities around the country. The National Eating Disorder Association’s Teen Summit and University of California, Davis’ “Celebrate Your Body Week” benefited greatly from hearing her unique perspective. Chenese also served as a commencement speaker at The Art Institute of California in Hollywood.
The Louisiana native is the Chief Creative Officer for Chenese Lewis Productions, LLC, a media company she established in 2007.
Chenese genuinely embraces who she is, inside and out, and it shows every time she steps into the spotlight. Chenese attributes her success by not conforming to society’s ideals of beauty, but rather showing by example that you can be beautiful and confident regardless of your size. Considered an icon within the plus size industry, Chenese shows no signs of stopping her ambitious efforts anytime soon.
Awards & Honors
- Baton Rouge Fashion Week – Fashion Icon Award
- Upstage Theatre Company – Star Award
- The Empowered Woman Honors Honoree
- Project Curve Appeal – Curvy Icon Award
- Miss Plus Top Model Awards – Woman of the Year Achievement Award
- Miss Plus America Pageant – Lifetime Achievement Award
- YWCA of Greater Baton Rouge Women of Achievement Honoree