To subscribe to the BoF Podcast, please follow this link.
The market for plus-size fashion is worth nearly $30 billion in the US alone. But while brands are upping marketing rhetoric and imagery to include a wider range of body types, many companies are still failing to serve the plus-size consumer.
In the latest episode of The BoF Podcast, chief correspondent Lauren Sherman speaks with Marie Denee, creator and editor-in-chief of The Curvy Fashionista, Alexandra Waldman, co-founder and creative director of Universal Standard and BoF’s senior editorial associate Alexandra Mondalek about the right way to do plus-size fashion.
Plus-size customers want one thing: choice. But too often they’re left sifting through limited ranges that reflect a narrow view of how they should dress. “Give us the same assortment,” Denee said, adding that brands must unlearn tropes about what the industry can offer plus-size consumers.
Lazy marketing that co-opts the language of body positivity without really serving plus-size shoppers is also a problem. “We have to learn to speak to a consumer that has been not just ignored, but belittled… it’s an emotional minefield,” said Waldman. “Body positivity is a personal journey.”
Companies need to invest in plus-size ranges too, taking the time and spending the cash to perfect fit, style and branding. “You have got to be led by the change and not the money,” explains Waldman.