“Society is going to accept that women come in all shapes and sizes.” –Sabrina Talso
The plus-sized woman has always been a part of our world. She has always been beautiful. She has always had a fantastic sense of style. Unfortunately, this style had been limited by the lack of plus-sized options in fashion. Limited size runs, poor fabric quality, and inadequate fit are just a start to the issues that plus women have been facing for years.
It’s nonsensical that less than 3% of the people seen in media are plus women when today 67% of women in the United States are considered plus-sized. That means there is a majority that is not being represented in the industry. Most people could easily name a fashion designer if they were asked to. What about a plus-sized designer? What about a plus-sized couture designer?
Last year here at NC State, students were able to see two plus-sized collections make their debut: one at the THREADs Senior Show, and one at the African American Textile Society Expose. Sabrina Talso, an NC State graduate, has been an advocate for improvements in plus fashion since she first set foot on our campus. She continues to share her passion today, working at Eloquii, a brand that formed in response to the great demand for better plus-sized options. Sabrina is confident that, “Plus sized fashion is eventually just going to become fashion.”
This summer, Project Runway brought us a first look at the future of fashion. The hit show in its 16th premiere revealed that models of all sizes would be seen strutting down the runway this season. The new models, ranging from size 2 to 22, walked out confidently to meet the designers who are randomly assigned to them each week. In the past, many designers seemed to be chained to a precedent that did not allow them to put plus-sized women on the runway. Soon, this expectation could cease to exist.
Every season more brands are releasing plus-sized collections and featuring plus-sized models in advertising and media. Brands like Lane Bryant are conducting fit studies and leading campaigns promoting plus-sized confidence. Luckily for us, it seems recently the industry is taking some steps in the right direction. If this trend continues, we have a future full of diverse runway line-ups, curvy mannequins, and inclusive size runs to look forward to. However, the progress we hope for will only come from each of us recognizing the issues, and actively advocating for improvement. We all love fashion. It’s time for fashion to love ALL of us.