Saks Fifth Avenue to Become First Major NYC Retailer to Carry Plus-Size Designer Clothing

I’ve often taken to our community here at Care2 to discuss issues of body image – more often than not my frustrations with the media for continually portraying an unhealthy and unrealistic portrayal of beauty.

Fortunately, this year we’ve had some positive steps with magazines like Glamour, V Magazine, French Glamour, French Elle, and Italian Vogue using their magazines to celebrate wider definitions of beauty with “plus-size” models gracing their covers and glossy pages. However it seems that in the body wars it’s always one step forward and one step back.

Take this: Not too long ago we discovered that American Apparel was refusing to make certain clothing above a size 6 despite the fact that the average woman wears a size 12-14. Many of us found this to be an infuriating decision, not to mention a very ill conceived business decision. Definitely a step back. 

In better news, Saks Fifth Avenue recently announced that they will soon begin carrying plus-sized clothing from top designers like Chanel and Dolce & Gabana making it the first major relator in the city to carry plus-size designer clothing. Step forward!

Other designers include Alexander McQueen, Armani, Carolina Herrera, Donna Karan, Oscar de la Renta, Max Mara, Valentino, Michael Kors, Yves Saint Laurent, Fendi, and Roberto Cavalli.

Every brand will reach a size 14 but others will go up to a size 20. Saks will start with this year’s Fall/Winter lines and then evaluate sales before rolling out the plus-size clothing to other stores.

This is undoubtedly a great step forward, but here comes another step back: Although Jezebel tried to get comment from the designers on this positive move, none of the brands responded – not one.

So, why the silence? Are the brands ashamed to be carrying plus-sizes? Do they want to keep quiet over the new market of women they want to reach? Why wouldn’t the designers want to promote their brand?

It’s tough to say, but without any communication it seems likely. However, this move should be celebrated! As Jenna at Jezebel says, “Considering how plus-size customers, even wealthy ones, have long been treated as fashion’s poor relation, this is a pretty significant move.”

A significant move indeed and one that I hope is embraced by customers so all Saks’ can begin serving women of all shapes and sizes.

Recent Posts Related from Care2:

Warning: Image Portrays Unachievable Body Stereotypes

The Camera Doesn’t Lie…Or Does It? Extreme Photo Retouching of “Plus-Size” Model

Photo by Orin Zebest used under a Creative Commons license


Sheri Schongold
Sheri Schongold5 years ago

Of course they will sell well. As long as the styles, colors, materials and prices are good and within the normal pocketbook, they will be sorry they didn't start sooner.

Dorothy Dore
Dorothy Dore5 years ago

Wow,Last time i checked a plus size was a size 9 and that shocked me.But now a over a size 6 is? There is something wrong here!

Dorothy Dore
Dorothy Dore5 years ago

Wow,Last time i checked a plus size was a size 9 and that shocked me.But now a over a size 6 is? There is something wrong here!

Maria Teresa Suplico

Thank God for Saks' decision to carry plus-size designer clothing! I hope Chanel has some nice jackets in size 16 to 18! : )

cathryn r.
cathryn r6 years ago

to barbara s....

i promise you, that no one will blame you, personally, for obese people... you are not the cause, nor are you 'aiding and abetting' anyone's obesity!! and, sak's decision to carry plus sized designer wear... unless you're a buyer for saks, that's not your fault, either! you are NOT blame! absolvio te.
and, btw, fyi, skinny isn't necessarily better. i'm a plus size, and my cholesterol is textbook perfect, as is my sugar, my last physical had my doctor applauding me! if my, or any other plus sized person's esthetics bothers you, please feel free to look in some other direcrion! your comment about 'leading a 'healthy lifestyle' was so full of rank condecension. no one has EVER gained weight just because clothes are available... however, people have become clinically depressed, people have become agorophobic, and developed other social anxieties as a result of just one more thing which is stacked against them. not everyone who is plussized eats cakes and candies day in and day out. obesity is a multifactorial problem. heredity plays a role, as does environment, as does general health... obesity isn't a disease, it's a syndrome - there are many different, disparate possible causes. however, there's no reason, nor excuse to use obesity as the last acceptable prejudice (everyone loves to hate a fatty, don't they, both you barbara's!??)

Christina Webb
.6 years ago

In my opinion, the reason that certain brands and designers only make petiter sizes is because of the image that they choose to project, no to mention that with a fatter population comes a bulgy body, one that does not fit into fitted designs. Ultimately they are trying to prvent humiliation for them from having their clothes look so bad as well there will not be a different cut made on the larger sizes, meaning some brands are just for certain body types. It makes sense to me i hope it does not offend. For instance the clingy/drapey clothes that major mall stores sell now, mostly for an overweight population do not and will never fit me properly does this mean I should complain they make their clothes for my body type, no.

Bonnie D.
Bonnie Dashew6 years ago

This isn't the first major retailer carrying plus sizes in NYC. Old Navy, Lane Bryant and plenty of other stores had it awhile ago.

Robyn F.
Robyn On'Neill6 years ago

Saks had "larger" clothes in the 1980s when I had the money to buy there, as did Bloomingdale's. I found lovely size 16s at Saks and later, larger sizes at Bloomies. BTW, my measurements as a 16 in 1985, with clothes from both stores, was 42-35-40. Wow, wasn't I huge at that size at 5 foot 8 inches? What size is that now? A "super-size" 12? And Macy's is a major retailer and they've always had larger size clothes. Also BTW, American Apparel really can't be called "designer" ... it's really more of a latter-day Frederick's of Hollywood. Most of their stuff is awful and a lot is downright disgusting.

Hillary Smith
Hillary Smith6 years ago

I'm glad to see that plus-sized women will have more options. I'd ask for fairness on the part of both sides. Not all plus-sized women are healthy, and not all non-plus-sized women are "not real women" or "anorexic". The fact is, whether its philosophically or physically better to be large or small, the fact remains that a broad variety of body types exist and need to be clothed, preferably with some style and professionalism. Good for Saks.

carole a.
.6 years ago

If most women are size 12 or 14, they're not plus sizes, are they? One would think the fashion world would be tired of female models looking like adolescent boys. Creative people would change after decades of this fixation.