PLUS-SIZE AND FASHION IN FOCUS

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PLUS-SIZE AND FASHION IN FOCUSPLUS-SIZE AND FASHION IN FOCUS

PLUS-SIZE AND FASHION IN FOCUS

“There is a shocking lack of data out there,” said Refinery29’s Christene Barberich, who moderated Tuesday morning’s CFDA Conversation on Fashion The Plus-Size Market. “There is so much opportunity researching what the potential of this whole space is, and having a much better understanding of how we all intersect with it and can help create some meaningful innovation.”Get more news about Plus Size Bottoms for women,you can vist 5xsize.com!

Sixty-seven percent of women in the U.S. identify as plus-size, as in a size 14 to 34. Of those, just 2 percent are represented in women’s media. In 2016, U.S. sales of women’s plus-size apparel rose by 17 percent, increasing overall apparel sales by 7 percent to $21.4 billion. “That’s pretty staggering considering this is an invisible majority,” she said.

Barberich was joined by model and designer Candice Huffine, CFDA Member Christian Siriano, and Alexandra Waldman of Universal Standard, the plus-size inclusive brand of women’s modern essentials.

During the conversation, the quartet raised several important points from psychological barriers and manufacturing to the recent athleisure trend. The latter promotes exercise and weight loss and perpetuates the idea of a “stopover” body that fluctuates in weight and is always just months away from a smaller size.

Then there is the word “plus” itself. Huffine explained how it “has definitely been the crux of my whole career and life. I went in seeking a contract as a model – simply a model – because I didn’t realize there were two different kinds. It was only then that I realized my body was ‘other than.’

“Here we are, almost 17 years later, and we have made amazing strides,” she added. “However, because the word ‘plus’ still exists within the industry, there is a divide. And I think that’s an easy thing for designers to fall back on. A designer may not extend their sizing because they don’t want to be in the plus-market. They only want to design for 33 percent of America, which is really baffling to me, and it all comes down to this four-letter word.”

For designer Siriano, catering to a wide range of sizes has become the cornerstone of his fashion philosophy.

“A designer is in the business to sell clothes,” he said. “I don’t care what size you are, where you come from or where you live. We never called our collection ‘plus’ if we had a size 12 or 14. It’s the same order. It’s how we run our business.”

Eliminating the term ‘plus’ is not as easy as it seems, though. “People search the internet for ‘plus’ because it’s the best-known term,” Universal Standard’s Waldman said. “Although I completely agree that I’d love to erase that arbitrary line that’s been drawn and that makes it about us and them, I think that from a practical perspective, it’s very difficult to weed out that term. There are so many habits that drive this consumer. The challenge is going to be not just to make more things and beautiful things but also to change the mindset of this consumer and to have them start to think of themselves as the norm.”

The panel agreed that there are still many barriers to entry that need to be addressed, then broken through. Among them: the standard sample size which can determine the models that are being cast for the runway and magazine shoots; the model agencies that have, until recently, only sent thin models, and the beauty industry, which rarely promotes women of different body types in campaigns.

Then there are the psychological barriers – namely the notion that one’s weight fluctuates and that size is just temporary. To that end, Universal Standard’s policy is to select popular pieces in the collection, and offer customers to exchange those garments within a year if their body size changes, at no charge. The returned garments are laundered and donated to charities that support women in need.