Consumers are really complaining about a lack of diversity in the fashion industry and are putting pressure on brands to serve a greater variety of customers. Fashion is such an important part of self-presentation and communicating, our identity to others, and, in the past, plus-sized women had such a limited number of identities they could show. Social media is really putting pressure on companies to have more variety in their lines.
Experts say this shift is the result of economic and social pressure. Plus-size clothing is the fastest-growing segment in apparel. More than half of women ages 18 to 65 wears a size 42 or higher, and they’ve been voraciously using social media to exert pressure on retailers and to push back against body shamers who say there is no room for diverse figures in fashion.
There are many things that have been going wrong in the fashion industry, starting with the fact that this is a male-dominated industry in terms of leadership and in terms of designers. So what has been produced over the years for women has been dictated by men and follows some sort of ideal of an ideal woman that is not reflecting the reality and the actual size of women today.
The “body positivity movement” is being led by celebrities and social media influencers who are cheering bigger bodies, even if it means facing a fierce backlash from those who contend it promotes unhealthy ideals. Singer-songwriter Lizzo, model Ashley Graham, singer-songwriter Beyoncé, blogger Edith Dohmen,.. are some of the “stars” who use their platforms to advocate for body acceptance. It has really becomes important for women to be themselves, whatever their form, shape, size or appearance.
Inclusivity is also a hallmark of millennial culture, even younger designers want to cater to different body shapes. The addition of larger sizes has even reached into niche markets, such as lingerie and activewear. Nike and Fabletics, for example, now sell plus-size athleisure items. There are many more voices and many more opinions and influencers with very high numbers of followers who actually advocate for a more inclusive fashion industry.
So we are moving into the right direction, and social media is allowing this multiplication of voices. Also technology will allow us to do more personalization and customization … we may actually be able to see a much more tailor-fitted garment that is being produced for different body types. We’re not there yet, but within five years, we can see a lot of things happening in the industry.
The whole point of being a designer is to make people feel good. They are here to make people look cute in a dress. You want to look cute in a dress and you’re a size 26? Why not? The curvy revolution has started. Make sure you’re in…