When plus-size fashion retailer ELOQUII unceremoniously stopped selling clothes in 2013, it was the fans that saved it from extinction. A campaign from passionate bloggers and loyal consumers indicated to investors that the brand was doing something right and deserved a life vest. To say thank you to this community, and because their voices are leading the plus-size revolution, ELOQUII tapped six of them to be featured in their spring lookbook.
Margie Ashcroft of Margie Plus styled the campaign, which focuses on this season’s hottest item: the midi skirt. Sarah Conley of Style It, model Clementine Desseaux, Liz Black of P.S. It’s Fashion, Kellie Brown of And I Get Dressed, and Chante Burkett of Everything Curvy and Chic, were invited by Ashcroft to bring their individual senses of style to the brand’s latest offerings, displaying them in the unique ways only true street style senseis can.
“The midi has gone from being a trend item to a wardrobe staple for spring and summer,” Jodi Arnold, Creative Director, tells Yahoo Style. “It's one of those items that a girl wears and instantly feels chic and put together.” Because of the way this particular item makes those wearing it feel, ELOQUII is launching #MidiMoment, a hashtag that is meant to inspire customers — and beyond their base to include all women — to share a time in their life when they’ve felt like their best and most confident selves. Conley, who, in addition to her blog, works on social media for the brand, explains that midi-skirts are an item that can be worn at the most important times in women’s lives including milestones such as weddings but also those mundane everyday instants that stand out as special for no reason at all other than your perfect outfit makes you feel extraordinary. “My midi moment is in the kitchen,” Desseaux says. “Music blasting and some delicious dishes cooking. There's no happier moments than the ones I spend creating some happiness for the ones I love!”
The fact that plus-size fashion in 2015 has the power to make people happy shows how far the industry has come. Just a few years ago, women of a certain size didn’t have many offerings and had to rely on their own DIY skills to create cute outfits out of sacks. This is part of the reason the blogging community prospered, with many like-sized individuals looking to each other to figure out how to look good without the same options offered in straight sizes.
Because of ELOQUII’s participatory relationship with its customers, it’s one of the few brands that has been able to put quality products out on the market that not only fit right and are affordable, but look cool as well. Part of this, as CEO Mariah Chase explains, is running the company as a fashion business first, not a plus size one. “We design, merchandise and sell fashion like other fashion brands and retailers,” she says. The difference being that ELOQUII also educates people, potential partners, and others that have preconceived or outdated ideas about this customer and the market. “We don’t believe fashion and what’s considered fashionable should be dictated by size. We believe access to great fashion, expression and inspiration should be available to anyone who wants to participate. Hopefully, as our business grows, it will serve as a positive signal and more brands will enter the space and serve this customer.”
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