The idea of fuller-bodied women has been considered visually unappealing.(Shutterstock)
The idea of fuller-bodied women has been considered visually unappealing.(Shutterstock)

The beauty curve: Here’s how the fashion industry is embracing plus sized clothes

With fashion trends becoming broader, the images of models has become more liberal - women who are not dictated by fashion norms are now gracing ramps and magazine covers.
By HT Correspondent | Asian News International, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 12, 2017 10:24 AM IST

Fashion has come a long way, but in all the years of its flashy existence, this world had a dyed-in-the-wool image of depicting slender and tall as “beauty.”

Vidit Sehgal, Head (Marketing and IT) and co-founder of LURAP, a platform which makes ‘extra large’ clothing, said, “It is no secret that the global fashion industry is rightfully criticised for accepting only skinny models, be it for walking down the ramp or posing for online shopping websites. The notion of a woman’s beauty has been formed around the size and shape of her body, and the idea of fuller-bodied women has been considered visually unappealing. Those who are not able to fit the existing parameters of ‘slim’ end up feeling marginalised.”

With trends becoming broader and more complex, the images of models got more liberal - women who are not dictated by the norms of fashion world also started gracing the ramps. According to data from market research firm NPD Group, U.S. sales of women’s plus-size apparel, including those for teens, rose 6% to 21.4 billion dollars in 2016.

Another NPD study released last year showed that the percentage of US teens purchasing plus-sized clothing almost doubled from 19% in 2012 to 34% in 2015. “Despite an average Indian woman wearing a size-M and the average female American wearing a size 20, many high-street and premium brands have refused to acknowledge the fact that most women are unable to wear clothes from their catalogues,” Sehgal noted.

“But certain recent developments - like a law in France banning the use of unhealthily thin fashion models, Madrid banning anorexic models from walking the ramp and Israel banning models with Body Mass Index (BMI) less than 18.5% - indicate that the mindsets are gradually changing,” he added

“Many plus-size women are also fervently pushing boundaries and demanding beauty to be all-inclusive. Fashion shows are introducing plus-size women on the ramps in the West. Recognizing the potential of this market, Victoria Beckham too has launched her own plus-size line of high-street clothing with pieces up to XXXL,” he added.

After 2015 saw many retailers, such as Target, introducing their own plus-sized collections, more brands joined in. Last year, retailer JCPenney (JCP) unveiled its Boutique + collection in conjunction with ‘Project Runway’ winner Ashley Nell Tipton.

Recently, Nike also launched an expanded plus size collection for sizes 1X to 3X and Walmart (WMT) announced the acquisition of the independent online retailer ModCloth, which the retail giant described as a pioneer in the fashion industry on issues of “size diversity, lifestyle inclusiveness, and body positivity over the last decade.”

According to a report from McKinsey & Co, the number of mentions of “plus size” in the fashion press tripled in 2016 compared with the previous year. In recent years, the haute couture world’s scenario has changed with plus-size models landing big fashion gigs. Plus-size model Tess Munster, aka Tess Holliday, became the first woman of her size and height to score a contract with the prominent modelling agency, Milk Model Management, in 2015, while Candice Huffine became the first ever plus-size model to be featured on the Pirelli Calendar.

Vogue magazine recently hit the headlines by featuring for the first time plus-sized model Ashley Graham on its March cover alongside other models. Plus-size models may be having their moment of glory internationally, but in India, they still have a long way to go.

“India, too, is joining the bandwagon, even if at a much smaller scale,” Sehgal continued, “Lakme Fashion Week launched its Plus-Size fashion show last year, which saw curvier models owning the runway with grace and elan. Dove too introduced its #RealBeauty project, calling women of all ‘shapes and sizes’ to share their photographs on its website and join the conversation revolving around body image and body acceptance.”

He further said that plus-size and curvy fashion bloggers are proudly taking the Internet by storm with their blog pages like Curves Become Her, Beyond That Bouffant, and Girl with Curves. “Renowned designer Prabal Gurung, known for designing clothes up to size 22, has teamed up with the U.S.-based plus-size label Lane Bryant for a collection of 22 pieces. Online fashion websites like Lurap are also catering to this demand by offering a collection of plus-size boutique clothing for curvy women that are tasteful, fashion-forward, and aspirational.”

Fashion designer Little Shilpa during fittings session with the plus size model for the 2016 Lakme Fashion Week. (Arijit Sen/HT PHOTO)
Fashion designer Little Shilpa during fittings session with the plus size model for the 2016 Lakme Fashion Week. (Arijit Sen/HT PHOTO)

Sehgal also noted that sensible efforts are being made by a lot of influencers and brands from the industry to create a niche, where plus-size women can express themselves and celebrate their bodies.

He concluded, “This attitude of the Indian fashion industry needs to change, desperately and immediately; the stereotype that ‘all plus-size women are fat’ needs to be shattered, because it is, like all other stereotypes, demeaning and erroneous. Before plus-size can become mainstream and aspirational, there is a dire need to bring a halt to different kinds of size supremacy.”

Follow @htlifeandstyle for more.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
A model sports a vibrant yellow, tiered, pleated, strappy sundress from the label’s SS21 collection (Photo: Instagram/AlbertaFerretti)
A model sports a vibrant yellow, tiered, pleated, strappy sundress from the label’s SS21 collection (Photo: Instagram/AlbertaFerretti)

Sashay in Spring’s chicest maxis

By Manish Mishra
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 07:19 PM IST
We get it that given the situation, you were unable to visit your favourite holiday spot in the South of France last summer
Close
A model in a piece for the Other collection by Raw Mango(Instagram)
A model in a piece for the Other collection by Raw Mango(Instagram)

Disturbing or stunning? Raw Mango's new 'Other' collection leaves internet divid

By Alfea Jamal, Hindustan Times, Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 05:43 PM IST
They say art is not what you see but what you make others see, and it appears those who have seen Indian contemporary fashion brand Raw Mango's latest campaign for its Spring Summer 2021 collection 'Other' are divided by what feelings it evokes in them.
Close
Natalia Mikhailovna Vodianova(Instagram)
Natalia Mikhailovna Vodianova(Instagram)

Russian supermodel 'Supernova' Natalia Vodianova is new UN goodwill ambassador

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Alfea Jamal, Hindustan Times, Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 01:15 PM IST
Natalia Mikhailovna Vodianova said in a statement, "For too long, society’s approach to menstruation and women’s health has been defined by taboo and stigma”, adding that the situation “has undermined the most basic needs and rights of women."
Close
Fashion designer Frida Kiza poses with models at the end of the Black Lives Matter Fall/Winter 2021/22 collective fashion show, presented in Milan, Italy, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021. 2021.(AP)
Fashion designer Frida Kiza poses with models at the end of the Black Lives Matter Fall/Winter 2021/22 collective fashion show, presented in Milan, Italy, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021. 2021.(AP)

Italian designers of African origin take over Milan Fashion Week

AP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 11:28 AM IST
Five Italian designers of African origin made their runway debut during Milan Fashion Week on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021 under the banner “We are Made in Italy,” having nurtured dreams deemed unlikely in their native lands and which faced considerable obstacles in their adopted Italy.
Close
Fashion designer Gisele Claudia poses with models during the Black Lives Matter Fall/Winter 2021/22 collection collective show, presented in Milan, Italy, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021. 2021.(AP)
Fashion designer Gisele Claudia poses with models during the Black Lives Matter Fall/Winter 2021/22 collection collective show, presented in Milan, Italy, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021. 2021.(AP)

5 Africa-born designers open digital Milan Fashion Week

AP, Milan
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 11:02 AM IST
Five designers of African origin making their runway debuts opened Milan Fashion Week on Wednesday under the banner “We are Made in Italy”.
Close
A year after Italy registered its first positive case of the coronavirus in the north, leading to the first lockdown in Europe, designers have had to find new ways to entice fashionistas with their creations.(Reuters)
A year after Italy registered its first positive case of the coronavirus in the north, leading to the first lockdown in Europe, designers have had to find new ways to entice fashionistas with their creations.(Reuters)

Missoni celebrates 'normal life' at virtual Milan Fashion Week

Reuters, Milan
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 09:03 PM IST
Italian brand Missoni kicked off the first day of Milan Fashion Week on Wednesday, with designers once again forced to swap the buzzing catwalks for digital presentations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Close
Influencer Kusha Kapila (Instagram)
Influencer Kusha Kapila (Instagram)

Buzzing with Buss it Challenge

By Prerna Gauba
UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2021 07:27 PM IST
Many celebrities stormed to the Internet to make their own unique versions of the buss it challenge.
Close
Janhvi Kapoor sparks Roohi promotions in a neon sweetheart strapless silk dress(Instagram/janhvikapoor)
Janhvi Kapoor sparks Roohi promotions in a neon sweetheart strapless silk dress(Instagram/janhvikapoor)

Janhvi Kapoor sparks Roohi promotions in a neon sweetheart strapless silk dress

By Zarafshan Shiraz
UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2021 03:54 PM IST
  • Janhvi Kapoor sets the mercury soaring as she makes a show-stopping entry at Roohi promotions in a neon strapless dress that was made of silk and came with a sweetheart neckline. We bet you are going to drop your jaws after knowing its whopping cost. Read on
Close
Madhuri Dixit sends hearts aflutter in organza cape set that aces bohemian vibe(Instagram/madhuridixitnene)
Madhuri Dixit sends hearts aflutter in organza cape set that aces bohemian vibe(Instagram/madhuridixitnene)

Madhuri Dixit sends hearts aflutter in organza cape set that aces bohemian vibe

By Zarafshan Shiraz
UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2021 01:06 PM IST
  • Gearing up to shoot for an episode of Dance Deewane Season 3, BTown OG Madhuri Dixit Nene slew bohemian look in a black crop top and palazzo teamed with an embroidered organza cape and we are smitten with these sultry pictures
Close
Malaika Arora teams a printed boyfriend shirt with a pair of boots (Photo: Instagram/MalaikaAroraOfficial)
Malaika Arora teams a printed boyfriend shirt with a pair of boots (Photo: Instagram/MalaikaAroraOfficial)

Boyfriend shirt gets a fun twist 

By Manish Mishra
UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2021 12:14 PM IST
What does the phrase - ‘boyfriend shirt’ mean anyway? It’s something borrowed from your boyfriend’s or lover’s closet
Close
Kriti Sanon rocks a pop print outfit by designer Aniket Satam (Photo: Instagram/AniketSatam)
Kriti Sanon rocks a pop print outfit by designer Aniket Satam (Photo: Instagram/AniketSatam)

Bollywood roots for pop prints

By Manish Mishra
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 11:51 AM IST
Fashion is a recurring cycle of trends and pop prints recently seen on the likes of Ananya Panday, Sara Ali Khan, Kriti Sanon and Sanya Malhotra are reminiscent of the outré   ’80s
Close
Tara Sutaria rocks a bubblegum pink pantsuit (Photo: Instagram/TaraSutaria)
Tara Sutaria rocks a bubblegum pink pantsuit (Photo: Instagram/TaraSutaria)

Stars paint the town in bubblegum pink

By Manish Mishra
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 11:42 AM IST
Think pink seems to be the style mantra as Bollywood charges its way out of the Covid gloom and despair
Close
After some initial resistance and a slow start, designer Stella Jean credits the Italian National Fashion Chamber with “a lot of goodwill” in pushing through an enhanced collaboration with five young designers, including financing and partnerships with Italian suppliers.(AP)
After some initial resistance and a slow start, designer Stella Jean credits the Italian National Fashion Chamber with “a lot of goodwill” in pushing through an enhanced collaboration with five young designers, including financing and partnerships with Italian suppliers.(AP)

BLM in Italian Fashion campaign shows early tangible results

AP, Milan
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 10:54 AM IST
A digital runway show by five Italian fashion designers of African origin opens Milan Fashion Week on Wednesday, one tangible result of a campaign launched last summer by the only Black Italian designer belonging to the Milan fashion chamber.
Close
Riccardo Tisci(Instagram)
Riccardo Tisci(Instagram)

The lost freedom to explore amid Covid-19 inspires Burberry's Riccardo Tisci

Reuters, London
PUBLISHED ON FEB 23, 2021 07:06 PM IST
"Enclosed indoors, I dreamt of the outdoors and its beauty, fuelled by the thought of the creativity that comes when we are together," Riccardo Tisci said.
Close
Janhvi Kapoor(Instagram)
Janhvi Kapoor(Instagram)

Panghat: Janhvi Kapoor stuns in both bridal, spooky avatars for Roohi's new song

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Alfea Jamal, Hindustan Times, Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 23, 2021 05:43 PM IST
The first song Panghat from Rajkummar Rao, Janhvi Kapoor and Varun Sharma's upcoming film Roohi is finally out. The peppy number features Janhvi in a never-seen-before avatar as she shows off her killer dance moves with Rajkummar and Varun.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP