As the issue regarding the lack of plus size brands continues to be pushed to the forefront, the excuses from designers who refuse to adopt a new size spectrum sound less and less credible.
The plus size market may once have been a niche community but now it is worth more than $20 billion in sales (and rising), according to research company NPD Group. In fact, two thirds of American women currently fall into the plus size category, providing a huge opportunity for both small scale and larger labels.
When it comes to embracing body diversity, it’s clear that brands have struggled. Blaming extra expenses that come from having to hire more fit models and buy more fabrics, many have been reluctant to offer more than a couple of extra sizes on top of their usual designs.
This has left an entire group of people without wardrobe-related choice. Think of the mainstream brands that currently offer sizes ranging from 00 all the way up to a 32. You can probably count them on one hand. Even then, the plus size collection is usually limited to a small percentage of the brand’s entire offering.
Plus size women expect and deserve the same range of styles, colours and prints as straight-sized women. They are entitled to high quality garments that don’t just aim to cover up their bodies but instead embrace every curve.
Luckily, some brands are listening to the demands of the people. But others - the ones who can’t or simply won’t deliver - are ignoring a huge portion of society that have major spending power and are loyal to the names that embody the full spectrum of diversity.
This topic is set to be discussed at the Decoded Future New York Summit on November 2. Led by Refinery29’s creative producer Laura Delerato, the talk will welcome Emma Grede, the CEO and co-founder of inclusive denim brand Good American, and Alexandra Waldman, the co-founder and creative director of the truly diverse Universal Standard.
The trio will dive into the plus size opportunity and talk openly about how a brand can diversify its sizing (including the struggles that come with doing so) while painting a realistic picture of the plus size demand today.
Taking into account all of the above, it seems like there’s no longer any justification for disregarding the wants and needs of modern plus size women.