Historically speaking, the fashion industry has not accommodated plus-size women. While there’s been notable progress towards size inclusion over the last few years, fashion is far from plus-size parity.
Take plus-size representation during Fashion Month: Last season, plus-size models made up 0.43 percent of castings during New York, London, Milan, and Paris fashion weeks, according to The Fashion Spot’s Runway Diversity Report. While New York Fashion Week was far more representative than the European circuit, plus-size models are still marginalized.
That kind of marginalization trickles down, potentially affecting how everyday women feel about their bodies. A Yahoo Style survey conducted last year found that women use the word “curvy” most frequently to describe their body type; hold onto clothing that no longer fits; lie about their size, and feel shame when they don’t fit into a size they expected to.
Arguably, that’s a function of how the fashion industry continues to portray acceptable body standards: The world’s most photographed models are tall, thin, and white. (Making the case otherwise is difficult to do when models like Bella Hadid appear on a record number of September covers, which are traditionally the most important issue of the year.)
To be sure, some brands and designers are doing their part to make sure women who are larger than size 14 (the traditional starting point for plus-sizes) have stylish wardrobes, like their size 12-and-under counterparts. There is Universal Standard, and its campaign model Candice Huffine, who is eager to speak out in favor of body positivity. Shopping mall mainstay Torrid hosts an annual plus-size model search, and designers such as Christian Siriano and Prabal Gurung include plus-size models on their runways regularly.
As New York Fashion Week kicks off, Yahoo Style will highlight the brands, designers, and models who continue to champion fashion for all. That will include live-streaming theCURVYcon, a two-day expo connecting retailers, influencers, and media to discuss all things plus size. And it starts with shining a spotlight on some under-the-radar brands that are already making plus-size fashion better.
Click through to get a look at the plus-size lines that every curvy woman needs to know.
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