Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Plus Size Industry

Nowadays, fashion designers start to take notice of the potential for plus size clothing to make money and at the same time showcase their talents in making gorgeous apparels for the larger population. Since PLUS size fashion pertains to the full figures, using plus size models for advertising campaigns and in catwalks makes it more appealing to the target population.

Actually, plus size models were used in campaigning for plus size fashion as early as 1940's but there was a bias against the bigger people and plus size modeling were kept out of the public's eye by the fashion industry until the early 90s as fashion in those times were focused on the "ideal body" shape which was the petite and skinny figure.

As per history, the trading began in the early 1920s for garments and by the middle of the 20s, clothing were sold under the category "For the Stout Women" by Lane Bryant. These garments had a bust line that ranged between 38 - 56 inches. Together with the evolution of printing technology in the 1940s, photographs were integrated into the catalogs to sell the apparels but the earliest catalogs used simple illustrations. Again, it was Lane Bryant who began using plus size models to model plus size clothing after a hiatus period.

In 1989, Spiegel plus size collection released their FOR YOU catalog with Linda Arroz as their spokesmodel and official consultant. Fashion videos involving plus size clothing worn by full figure models were produced by Spiegel as part of their full scale plus size fashion outreach. For three years, FOR YOU campaign included opening retail locations in upscale shopping malls. However, all FOR YOU locations from Spiegel had closed in the middle of the 90s.

Fortunately, with the strong cooperation from Wilhelmina 10/20, Curves and Ford 12+ agencies, MODE magazine was launched in the spring of 1997. With its VOGUE-like fashion philosophy, no other fashion magazine targeted that full figure group than MODE. Plus size clothing was featured worn confidently by an oversized model and one of MODE's editorial practices was providing model's names attached to quotes promoting self - esteem. Such practice facilitates the popularity of the magazine as well as stylish plus size clothing demand increased. Also, MODE sponsored model search competitions together with Wilhelmina modeling agency that draws hopefuls from all over the world. However, it was unfortunate that MODE closed due to the failure of some designers' to venture into the plus size market. Since MODE relied on these designers' production of plus size clothing, ceased production left MODE deficit in both advertising revenue as well as in fashion wardrobes.

Advertorial magazine FIGURE was launched in 2002 but revamped in 2006 was costumed by Charming Shoppes. Oversized people are the target costumers for these magazines hence, stylish plus size clothing were featured. But this magazine only showcased Charming Shoppe's own products and lifestyle articles that relates to such products. However, after their March/April 2009 issue, closure was announced.

Although, plus size fashion magazines may stop their circulation, the bottom line is that plus size clothing continued to make its name in the fashion industry up to this very day. Plus size clothing had evolved into more stylish pieces and is enjoyed by many full figures around the world.

Volupture was created out of love for fashion, an agenda to improve women's self image and the desire to make fashionable and well designed clothes available to plus sized women in Australia. All women have the right to feel beautiful, and at Volupture we believe that all women have the right to own beautiful clothes that make you feel as fabulous as you should.


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