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.
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Photo by Orin Zebest used under a Creative Commons license
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