Wednesday, February 23, 2011


After viewing tons of backstage videos of NYFW I came across a video from one of my favorite blogs The Cut. Amy Odell from The Cut did a Q&A asking about the plus size model trend at fashion week 2011. After listening to comments from straight size models, stylists, and a few designers there was one comment that stood out to me. Designer Douglas Hannant responded to the question saying this, "I think plus size models are beautiful but its not my idea on the runway because I'm not doing a plus size line."

His comment made me stop and think to myself, is there a point where we as a plus size community should respect a designers vision not to use plus size models or create a plus size line, without feeling slighted? In the creative world of fashion vision is everything. In many cases it can make or break you as a designer. If it is not a designer's vision to do plus size or use a plus size model then we should respect that, right?

Here's a little piece of my mind. Aside from designers losing out on big bucks by excluding plus sizes, I think many designer visions are narrow minded. Designers need to start challenging themselves and start stepping outside of the box. Inspiration is what creates visions. Maybe designers should start spending a little time with plus size women (they have them in their families too) to understand our needs and wants, then they can become truly inspired to include us and start creating lines that are inclusive of all sizes.

Share your thoughts!



KeKe Duncan said...

This is a great question. As a plus woman it would be nice if there were more plus designers around. it is hard to find trendy yet affordable plus clothing. We are limited to the same stores locally. As a woman that is in the plus industry, I had this discussion with a plus designer not to long ago. This designer made a valid point. Many plus women don't want to pay for good quality clothing. She has found that often times she has to justify her pricing which I don't think is too expensive. I guess many designers don't see the income potential. I just hope that more plus women speak up so that we continue to have options...Who wants to go back to the spandex and elastic waist clothing. Yuck...I find it interesting that many of the body shaper companies don't use plus women when we are their main consumers...Just my thoughts...

Darlene C. said...

On one level, I respect it as a business decision. The designer is being very focused with his target market and may be choosing not to expand too rapidly, if at all, into certain sizes. But it's possible to respect and disagree with a decision at the same time. There is such demand for beautiful and well-made plus-size clothing that it seems stupid not to branch into that market. And I think that is where the feeling of being slighted comes in. Why would a designer forgo such a lucrative market? Because he may not want to be associated with plus sizing.

Designers with the business sense to expand their vision deserve our respect!

Cathy Benavides said...

What a great topic! It's so hard to not take it personally, even though a designer isn't saying there's anything wrong with plus size- it's just not their look or vision. In some ways, I'm grateful that a designer who isn't passionate about plus sizes isn't make a half-hearted attempt to make a buck. And there are also plenty of designers who don't do clothes in petite. However, as an artist, a designer should look to expand their view and challenge themselves. Great post!!

Katie said...

I definately think it's the designers perogative not to branch out into the plus size. BUT boy are they missing out on HUGE revenues! I think if designers really want to make themselves into true fashion power houses, like Lauren and Michael Kors, they need to add the plus line. But hey, if they don't like us, i'm happy to spend my money elsewhere! Like I heard DVF say on Andy Cohen's show that she would NEVER do a plus like, well guess what, i'm never spending any money on your clothes or accessories. idoit!

Cid Style File said...

Totally agree, they have the right not to design for the plus size woman. They don't want our money, no problem I will find some one who will. What I want to see is a designer to make a line the includes plus sizes. Why can't we have the same styles as the straight sizes. How many times do we see items we love or what but don't come in our size. I love the idea of the H&M inclusive line, just wish it wasn't a one time deal and only available in the UK! I don't everyone needs to make a plus size collection, but more should! :)

juliette said...

This was a really good question! As others said, I agree that designers have the right to make what they want and we have the right to not purchase any goods from those who don't serve us. I am curious about the pricing discussion though. I know that I spend a fair amount of $ on clothes (and I suspect I'm not the only one!) and the lack of more expensive brands in plus sizes is apparent. However, I do notice that on many of the blogs, women often discuss how "pricey" places like LB and Torrid are when those are considered lower priced lines. And Walmart is the biggest plus size retailer. Walmart! There's nothing wrong with any of these places, I'm just curious about where other plus size women shop and what prices they look for when shopping. We're all watching our pennies these days and I do think that designers sometimes use the pricing issue as an excuse. I just wonder if there's any validity to it?

fashionplus3 said...

Here here Alissa! I do agree that they have a right to do a straight size line of clothing, but I also agree that designers need to quit having tunnel vision. I wish designers would challenge themselves, they might be
surprised! I mean, I even see designers that are plus size or were formally plus size (Karl, I'm talking to you) that just shun us. But if they challenge themselves and even use their own plus size experiences as inspiration, fashion would be more inclusive. I mean I don't discriminate! Even though I can't fit anything at NYFW that doesn't mean I'm not inspired by it, interpret the style, follow the trends etc.

*Stepping off my soap box*

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