How the Fashion Industry is Failing Plus-Size Women: Exploring the Lack of Designer Options

How the Fashion Industry is Failing Plus-Size Women: Exploring the Lack of Designer Options

As size inclusivity continues to gain relevance, the fashion market is gradually catching up. While some new and promising brands are making their appearance, there is still a long way to go before we can say that the extended/plus-size market is fully covered.

Why is this the case? The answer is not straightforward. The fashion industry has operated based on the "straight-size" market for a long time. This has made designers, retailers, and even publications hesitant to take risks and make changes. However, the good news is that things are beginning to change.

Although curvy models are starting to appear on runways and in magazines, this is more evident with certain designers, such as Christian Siriano, and traditional haute couture houses like Nina Ricci and Mugler. On the other hand, fashion brands such as Saint Laurent and Tom Ford continue to rely on ultra-slim models for their runways and ad campaigns.

 Ninna Ricci Show

Why are some designers more willing to broaden their target market than others? For luxury brands, accessories sales are usually their main revenue source. Their clothing collections are more of a press event, and they don't have much of an incentive to take risks by targeting new markets. Therefore, many designers prefer dealing with one body type (ultra-slim and tall) when casting for their runways. This is because it's easier and faster to fit their entire collection with one set of body measurements.

As a result, this historically conveyed the message that only slim women could wear designer collections. Designers avoided the plus-size market, leaving it to less expensive online retailers that offered cheaper and less exciting clothes. As a curvier woman, if you wanted something more creative to wear, you had to have it made, which can be challenging.

The Lysee Papillon Dress from

The Lysee Papillon Dress at

Another reason designers stayed away from the extended/plus market was the cost. Creating clothing patterns, fitting them, and accurately grading them into sizes is a costly process for any brand. While many luxury brands can afford this cost, it still requires additional resources, time, and energy that they often do not want to invest, especially when they are mainly selling handbags and perfume. For smaller brands, this is a cost they often cannot bear without substantial financial support, which is often not available to them.

Despite these challenges, there is hope on the horizon. With the growing demand for fashionable and well-fitting clothing in the plus-size market, smaller designer brands are stepping up to fill the gap. By supporting and encouraging these brands, we can create a more fun and exciting product for the curve plus market. Together, we can push for change and ensure that fashion truly becomes an inclusive space for all. The future of fashion is bright, and we can all be a part of making it more inclusive and diverse.

The Cypreea Sequin Top From

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