Archives for posts with tag: Plus-size

There has been much debate about the lack of racial and body diversity during fashion week, with designers such as Céline, Dior and many more employing none or only one or two models of colour for their runway shows.
In the meantime, there is Rick Owens. Always unconventional and showing the unexpected, he hired a competitive step dance team from the US to model his collection. And of course, being a step team, they didn’t strut down the runway – no, they pounded it to the ground, step dancing, cheerleading, military drilling and mean faces making.
So, while the discussion about diversity continues to rage, Owens lets an almost all black, full-figured team of women rock his collection, making you forget that allegedly, clothes only look good on extra thin, extra young and extra white models. Or, in his own words: “We’re rejecting conventional beauty, creating our own beauty.” Amen to that.
Check out some videos here.

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The faces of fashion are white, young and thin. No breaking news here. When a magazine decides to use a plus-sized model in an editorial, the emphasis lies on the fact that she’s not “straight-sized” and she’s often nude or semi-nude. It’s extremely rare that a heavier model is used without her curves being explicitly mentioned and made the focus of the spread. The same goes with age. It will be the main subject of the article and it will be mentioned how good the model still looks – for her age, of course. And most often than not, you will see the face of one of the supes of yesteryear like Linda, Christy or Helena.
Harper’s Bazaar is now doing an “homage to the diversity of women” in their September issue, cast and styled by the magazine’s Global Fashion Director Carine Roitfeld and shot by Karl Lagerfeld. I seriously don’t know what to think about this editorial. First, and most importantly, I think that diversity should be normal, a thing seen in every magazine, all the time, without a special mention, without it being an “homage”. The variety of model shape, age, size and race used here is rare and great, but it would be even better if it were just a “normal” editorial, not an oddity. I also don’t know what to make of the juxtaposition of old and young, big and small, straight-sized and plus-sized. What exactly is the point here? To show how crazy-old one model is? Or how freakishly tall another? It kind of leaves a bitter aftertaste and reminds me a little bit of a circus freak show. So, what do you think? Am I being too sensitive? Or do you agree?

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Recently, I read something interesting. According to a survey conducted by ModCloth, more U.S. women report wearing a size 16 dress than a size 2 and 0 combined. But despite that fact, it is very difficult for larger women to find plus-sized items in-store. So if they want something to wear – and God forbid, something stylish – they have to shop online. Even very popular brands like H&M, American Apparel or Urban Outfitters do not carry sizes 12 or 14 in their stores. Some of them do make them – you just have to go online to buy them. But that creates a new problem: According to Kenyatta Jones, CEO of clothing line Bella Rene, “if you’re stuck shopping online, nine times out of 10 you’re going to get something that doesn’t fit … Fit is very important for us, but if you’re ordering it online as opposed to trying it on in-store, you’re just going to end up sending it back and then you have nothing.” Sally McGraw, a style and body image writer, confirms that thought: “To relegate plus-size lines to online only and never give those women the opportunity to try on the clothing in person, look at themselves in the mirror in a store, get feedback from a sales associate, look at other options — you know, the full shopping experience — means that they are definitely missing out.”

That got me thinking: Why could that probably be? I mean, normally, people will do just about everything to make big bucks. So why is this huge market being neglected? Do shops not want so-called “fat” people in their stores? Is it about brand image? Is it more difficult to make larger clothes? Jones thinks that retailers don’t think of plus-size women as trendy shoppers: “Oh, they don’t need clothes, all they do is… eat Twinkies.” She goes on to say that the fashion industry seems to think of “fat” people as lazy, uneducated and not in the market for style.

So, what do you think? What prevents designers to put plus-size clothing in their stores? Could it be that they assume that larger sizes won’t sell? Tell me in the comments!