Ok, fashion industry time to face it....full-figured models are here to stay and actually have been around since the beginning of modern art.
Consider the paintings of Titian, 16th century Italian painter, and Ruben, Flemish Baroque painter, whose fondness for painting full-figured women popularized the term "Rubenesque" for plus-sized women. These talented artists were influenced by studying statues of ancient Greek and Roman women who were typically portrayed as full-figured (at least by today's standards).
Well, we have all heard or seen the media backlash against skinny models with issues ranging from perpetuating a negative body consciousness to young women to concerns of models suffering from eating disorders, such as bulimia and anorexia. In response to these concerns many leading fashion magazines, like Vogue or the German magazine, Brigitte, have banned the use of underweight models. Israel has just begun the new year resolving to ban the use of extremely skinny models in magazines and on the catwalk. Let's just say, 2013 is going to be hard for the Kate Mosses' of the world....who has actually gained quite a bit of weight as the years have passed (Go Kate!).
So the real skinny (yes, pun intended) is this...ultra-skinny models (size 0-4) don't really represent the shopping consumer's body. The average female consumer is a size 14. Yes, you heard me...a size 14. This is the starting size for plus-size clothing. The average American female customer is already bypassing those smaller sizes and nose-diving right into the size 10, 12, and 14...and can be found spending their dollars and time with those retailers who can effectively address their need for high quality, fashionable, versatile plus-size clothing.
Are you one of them? If not, then you may want to take a long, slow look at what is happening with our very valuable customer, pause for a hard look at size assortment replenishment information, and stop for a bit at size ranges experiencing high stock turns...looking? Now, that you are "seeing," it's probably time you become proactive and start adjusting size range assortments to reflect what the numbers are telling you.
As my primary goal, always, is to add a little food for thought...I'm gonna wrap it up here. Not before a little advice that goes like this...
Do you see your consumer in any of these figures? Check your CRM data? If so, then now may be the time to start working with your vendors to purchase a bit more production fabric, partner with your technical designer to adjust, as needed, spec measurements, consult with your pattern-maker for optimal marking and grading, and plan to spend a bit more money, to earn a "lot" more money. Would love to hear your thoughts.
Fashion Freelance Works! Find out how I can work for you by submitting your contact information on this website.
Curvy girls is a new show debuting on Nuvo TV which showcases the lives of four full-figured professional models; including the highs and lows of a highly judgmental and competitive industry.