Recently, I had the absolute pleasure of talking about the business of plus size fashion on Headline News’ Morning Express with Robin Meade. During the interview, money anchor Jennifer Westhoven and I hatted about some of the significant changes happening in plus fashion.
Morning Express aired a series of fashion segments in August as part of their Fastlane To Fashion series. I was featured in the segment on plus size fashion and how the fashion industry is finally embracing the curves. For far too long, plus women have had to find trendy, fast fashion clothes online. It’s a forced practice that completely discriminates against the largest (pun intended) segment of clothing consumers: WOMEN. With 67% of American women being size 14 and up, many retailers and designers are still snubbing the curves. But thats’s changing (slowly) considering the plus apparel market generated $20.7 billion in 2016.
That significant increase in revenue has brands who have traditionally ignored the curves, taking notice. I give major props for the boom we are witnessing largely to plus bloggers and style influencers. lnfluencers have changed the landscape and pushed brands to be much more plus inclusive. Many are now launching their own brands (think Premme by GabiFresh and Nicollette Mason), and collaborating with retailers and independent designers.
Ready-to-wear brands like Prabal Gurung and Michael Kors prominently featured plus-size models on the runway during New York Fashion Week in February. In September, Torrid, the mass-market retailer of plus clothing, hosted its first ever NYFW. In November, my style icon and my personal fashion goddess Tracee Ellis Ross is launching a collection with JCPenney. Tracee’s collection will feature clothing (sizes XS to 3X) and home goods. Let’s hope the story stages the plus items as well as the straight sizes. Fingers crossed! The business of plus size fashion is huge.
Unfortunately, it’s still a challenge to find great plus clothing on the sales floor. Too many department stores still stick plus clothing in the basement or dark corners making the shopping experience frustrating as hell. There has been a flux of fast fashion brands expanding their plus offerings and giving plus consumers more in-store options to choose from. Even online plus exclusive brands, like ELOQUII and Fashion To Figure are opening traditional brick and mortar stores in malls. There is a plus fashion renaissance happening and I couldn’t be more excited about it. Hopefully more luxury brands will begin to expand their size options to include plus. I’m not holding my breath. But until then, I have to pair my Gucci handbags and accessories with Gucci-inspired clothing like the beautiful dress I wore during the interview.
Speaking of the interview, here it is. Enjoy and share your feedback with me.
Nikki Free On TV
As always, thanks for stopping by!