SHOULD WE RESPECT A DESIGNERS VISION TO NOT DO A PLUS SIZE LINE OR — USE PLUS SIZE MODELS?

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Update on 9/29/2014
2 years ago, I wrote this post. I feel like this question is as important to answer now as I did back in 2011.  I was thinking about my appearance on Good Morning America last year and how so many people felt that plus size women should just stop complaining about designers making their size. I thought this would be a good conversation to bring up now.
Below is what I wrote back in 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!

8 Comments

  1. KeKe Duncan
    February 23, 2011 / 12:36 pm

    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…

  2. February 23, 2011 / 12:42 pm

    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!

  3. February 23, 2011 / 4:54 pm

    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!!

  4. February 23, 2011 / 5:30 pm

    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!

  5. February 23, 2011 / 6:50 pm

    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! 🙂

  6. February 24, 2011 / 12:46 am

    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?

  7. fashionplus3
    February 24, 2011 / 1:41 am

    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*

    http://www.fashionplus3.com

  8. April 30, 2013 / 12:05 pm

    Hmm..they have the right to exclude but at the end of the day i’m not going to keep supporting them by posting them on my blog unless it’s inspiration and I find some pieces that resemble the trend. I’m not going to keep mentioning that they should include someone my size. Like you said they are losing out on money, and for some reason i think they feel like not adding plus is exclusive or something. When i saw that piece on Zara that you did I thought to myself I’m over them. I barely go in there now. I do like their clothes and i love their shoes but I dont see myself really walking in there anymore and obsessing about their stuff like a lot of my smaller blogger friends so.

    I do however commend the designers that are stepping up and trying and i commend the women who are plus who still get into those clothes. I saw someone in river Island and I think she was a 14/16 she worked it. and I’m thinking maybe these brands will see how their stuff looks on curves and say well maybe we should expand. There is so much work to be done to be honest but what I would really love to see is a budding designer take all of that talent from Parsons or FIT and put it into a plus line…a good one that rivals those like Alexander Wang, or Burberry. I want to see that happen and happen pretty dang on soon, but they are popping up here and there for sure.

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