The Future of Plus Fashion: Panel & Discussion
Posted on April 12 2016
We hosted a moving and insightful panel discussion featuring industry experts, to discuss the highly anticipated future of plus fashion.
With panelists who have been in the industry for so long, and who have developed so much knowledge, each and every point made was backed by experience and oh so poignant. Not only are these women that know the industry, they are leaders in that they are trying to make a difference every single day in their work. The Outfit covered the event as well, and put together a great write up on the discussion.
A point that everyone could agree made by Rosaliz Jimenez was one that really resonated with us at Hey Gorgeous!:
"Shopping is fun. It's something we should all have the right to." #fashionmovesforward— Hey Gorgeous! (@heygorgeousny) April 6, 2016
Unfortunately, we hear women walk into the Hey Gorgeous! showroom proclaiming that they hate shopping. But when shops have never catered to them, is it really a surprise?
Designer Aysegul, behind the beautiful luxe brand Shegul, called it like it is.
Our very own founder, Aimee Cheshire had some strong opinions on those that plea for their size from brands that aren't interested in catering to plus women.
And when they do start to spend their money with these vendors?
"Stop asking Victoria's Secret to make your size. Give your money to the vendors that do make your size, and praise them."— Hey Gorgeous! (@heygorgeousny) April 6, 2016
"When they are used to $5 tees at Wal-Mart, plus women think that is all they are worth. When they finally wear quality, everything changes"— Hey Gorgeous! (@heygorgeousny) April 6, 2016
One of the bottom lines? Options are everything.
"I don't want just 4 or 5 choices. I don't want a body con dress or a crop top. I want to be catered to." #fashionmovesforward— Hey Gorgeous! (@heygorgeousny) April 6, 2016
Some of the harsh realities of the industry were brought to light. For instance, the fact that most of the time when magazines are shooting plus models, there are very little clothing options for them. When a straight size model might get four full racks of clothing, a plus model will maybe get one. And even then, there needs to be plus size samples when often even the plus garment will arrive in a straight size sample. Something that is always available for plus models? Lingerie. So when you see these beautiful images of plus models wearing only lingerie- it's not because the magazine wants to show extremely sexy images of plus models. It's because they want to showcase these models and the only clothing available for them is, well, underwear.
Another issue with plus clothing in the media? They cannot feature plus clothing without it being available to them, and the brands that are trying to get it right are often independent brands without the money to pay for a PR team, to have the samples on hand, or to even have a team of more than a few people. In order for there to be a big change in the industry, consumers need to support the brands that are creating beautiful clothing in plus sizes so these brands can grow and become more prominent in the mediascape.
"So," asked photographer Marc Watley, "When is the tipping point for plus?" Media moguls like Rosaliz Jimenez and modeling agent Becca Thorpe assured us that that time is now. With models like Ashley Graham on the cover of Sports Illustrated, now more than ever plus fashion is in the forefront. But- when stars like Amy Schumer fight the categorization she received, it shows that maybe society isn't quite as ready as we thought. And in the eyes of Aysegul Ilter of Shegul, we are far from this tipping point. She believes it may even be 5 to 7 years before plus becomes so mainstream. Granted, she is seeing this through the lens of a small-budget independent designer who has worked on many large budget straight size brands. For her luxe brand to be successful, it may take time. Like Aimee Cheshire said about plus women learning they are worth more than their $5 tees from Wal-Mart, it may take more time than we'd like for plus women to show their true spending power. But when they do, they will be a force to be reckoned with.
Were you at the event? What were your takeaways? If you missed the event, be sure to follow the #fashionmovesforward tag and our Twitter and Instagram. Our snapchat story has many quotable moments to relive, be sure to follow us @heygorgeousny.