A Passion For Fashion With A Marketing Flair™

Fashion 2.0 And The Plus-Size Fashion Revolution

For the first time, New York Fall Fashion Week will include a plus-size only, runway show.  OneStopPlus.com, the premiere online high-fashion destination for curvy, voluptuous women, will produce the show that is set for September 15, 2010 at The Atrium in Frederick P. Rose Hall (home of Jazz at Lincoln Center).  The curvy, Belle Épogue-themed catwalk will reportedly feature plus-size models like Lizzie Miller and Toccara Jones in Spring 2011 collections.  OneStopPlus brand evangelist Emme will also be on hand to host the red carpet.  Brands to be featured will include the best in American and European plus-size designs.

A plus-size runway show coinciding with the high-fashion shows for NYC Fashion Week at Lincoln Center is major.   As a result, I was curious about what the plus-size fashion niche is doing to join the online conversation and fashion 2.0 explosion.  When I Googled “plus-size fashion websites,” I was amazed to find 7.1 million results.

There are many more plus-size fashion websites, blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter networks and online communities than I can write about in this post.  The following are a sampling of the ones that stood out because of their engaging fashion 2.0 marketing tactics:

OneStopPlus.com

(Website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, online community)

OSP Website

Positioned as “Your Online Fashion Mall for Sizes 12W to 44W, ”  OSP (OneStopPlus.com) is more than just an e-commerce website.  It is an online community for curvy women.  There is the OSP Shopper’s Club, OSPMag, Facebook page, YouTube Channel and Twitter network.  The entire OSP online community is easily accessible from the website.  Visitors are invited to share and enjoy their OSP experience.

OSP - Twitter

Lane Bryant

(Website, Facebook, Twitter, online community, mobile marketing)

The plus-size market giant, joins the fashion 2.0 arena with Inside Curve.  The web community invites plus-size women to join  Inside Curve – a trilogy for girlfriends of fashion, fun, and friends. It is a new community where trendsetting, plus-size women hang out to celebrate all things fashionable – including themselves!

Lane Bryant embraces fashion 2.0 for most of their online brands with Facebook and Twitter. In addition, Lane Bryant Internet shoppers can get coupons sent directly to their cellphones  as well as be the first to hear about new fashion arrivals and special store events in their area with MSG ME – Lane Bryant’s text messaging program.

Lane Bryant - Facebook

Igigi

(Website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube)

Igigi website

Igigi (pronounced ee zhee zhee) began in 2000.  Plus-size women used to be relegated to wearing caftan-like dresses.  Well, no more!  Igigi is a plus-size clothing retailer that offers dresses for plus-size women in sizes 14 to 32. You will not find any caftan type dresses at Igigi. Their dresses cling to all the right curves and are cut to accentuate the positive.

Igigi does carry other items like tops and pants since their niche is definitely dresses (including bridal). Their clothing are comfortable, flattering and fashionable.  Plus-size woman visit the Igigi site because it has one of the best online selections of dresses for work, play and special occasions.

Size Appeal

(Website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube)

Clothes should enhance and not inhibit curvy women. Size Appeal breaks the stereotype of traditional plus-size clothing, like the boxy styles that make women look bigger and older.   Instead, Size Appeal follows the curve in body and style.   They strive to achieve the perfect cut and style every time.

Size Appeal - YouTube

Plus-Size Fashion  Moving To Luxury Brands

There is definitely a market for large, lovely women worldwide. Smart designers, retailers and marketers recognize that there is a void to fill.  According to a 2008 survey conducted by Mintel, a marketing research firm, the most frequently worn size in America is a 14.  Furthermore, government statistics show that 64%  of American women are overweight (the average woman weighs 164.7 pounds).   More than one-third are obese. Yet plus-size clothing (typically size 14 and above) represents only 18% of total revenue in the women’s clothing industry. In addition,  a quarter of women are size 18 or bigger – up 45% in five years.   The Mintel Study also shows that the UK market for plus-size clothing has never been bigger, with 45%  growth in the plus-size, women’s wear market over the past five years.

Reflecting the trend, top designers are producing collections for bigger women.   Marc Jacobs is rumored to be entering plus-size fashions.   The Marc Jacobs fashion house is in talks about producing a range in size 14 and up.  Designer Mark Fast made waves when he sent size 12 and 14 models down his catwalk during London Fashion Week and size 16 model Crystal Renn, who has a huge effect in the industry.

Saks Fifth Avenue in NYC will soon add plus-sized garments to its high-end, designer department. While clothes from most luxury labels were previously sold only up to a size 10, size 14 will hit the racks from Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Toula, Akris, Armani, Carolina Herrera, Escada, Donna Karan, St. John, Oscar de la Renta, Max Mara, Valentino, Michael Kors, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Fendi and Roberto Cavalli.   Some pieces will be available in sizes 16 to 20.  Saks will stock everything from pantsuits to evening wear.  However, there is a catch.   For most items, you’ll find only one of each size.  In addition, if the initiative is successful in Manhattan,  then Saks will stock the plus-size clothes in stores around the country.

Last summer, Target began carrying a line called Pure Energy that translated young, trendy clothes to larger sizes, adding to its more mature plus-size offerings.  “We definitely view this category as a growth opportunity,” said Target spokeswoman, Katie Heinze. After testing Pure Energy in some stores, Target decided to carry it in all 1,740 outlets.  Elie Tahari, the high-end designer, began selling a plus-size line this year and at Full-Figured Fashion Week, more than 25 other designers showed their plus-size clothes to an audience of retail buyers and plus-size women.

The plus-size fashion revolution is here and plus-size fashion 2.0 is in full force.  More brands are adding plus-sizes, curvaceous models are walking the Fashion Week runway and fashion websites, blogs and social networks are embracing plus-sizes.  It appears the fashion industry is finally recognizing the opportunities that exist in a market segment that was not considered very glamorous.  The changing demographics are making a big difference, no pun intended!

2 Responses

  1. Thank you for another great article. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such information.

    September 17, 2010 at 4:18 am

    • You’re welcome. Good luck with your presentation! What is it about?

      September 22, 2010 at 8:40 pm

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