Could this be the year that “diversity” moves from buzzword to action? 2014 saw curvy models make their way into the mainstream media thanks to women like Myla Dalbesio, Candice Huffine, and Kate Upton. And now the fashion industry is actually paying attention to this growing, but mostly ignored market. Instead of just treating women size 12 and up as a novelty, The New York Times reports that brands starting to develop chic, trendy clothes just for them.
Related: Meet Calvin Klein Model & Internet Sensation Myla Dalbesio
Sure, last year the queen of the plus-size market, Lane Bryant, unveiled collaborations with designers Isabel Toledo and Sophie Theallet, and online, retailers like ASOS have dedicated plus size collections. But now the Times reports that new brands like Eloquii and Gwynnie Bee aren’t just adding larger sizes, but thinking plus-size first. Of the former, “[it] aims to do for the plus market what Zara has done in the mainstream market: offer customers options that mimic runway trends but at prices that are lower than those in boutiques and department stores.”
Related: Candice Huffine: The Plus-Size Model Who Is the Ultimate Muse Among Fashion’s Skinny Set
Why now? Plus size women have a string of influential fashion bloggers to thank for the clothing options headed their way. Young women who took to the internet to showcase their personal style, and in the meantime, destroyed the rules of plus-sized dressing, have ushered in a new era in body acceptance and creativity. Theirs is not a world about hiding and camouflaging, but one embracing their bodies and loving themselves while wearing colorful crop tops, bikinis, and pencil skirts—a truly universal message. Here are the nine influential bloggers you should know, love, and thank for making a real life difference.