Fashion

Size Inclusivity at Fashion Week Was Good, But It Could Be Better — Here’s Why

If you are fat and like fashion, then you know Christian Siriano. He was one of the first to have plus models walk in his shows and has tripled his business since adding plus-sizes. This year’s show had ten plus models with Precious Lee opening and closing the show, an honor that most brands traditionally reserve for thin models.

Siriano’s show happened on the first night of fashion week and was a strong start in terms of size inclusivity, but it didn’t last long. Out of the 28 designers that featured plus models, the majority of them only had one in their shows. These designers had over 856 looks and only 65 of them were on plus bodies. If we look at the even bigger picture, only 3% of the looks that went down this year’s runways were inclusive. When you consider that 70 percent of the female population is plus-size, this math doesn’t add up.

Designers and brands are actively choosing to ignore the numbers that prove they would grow their customer base exponentially if they expanded their sizes. They continue to make excuses about the supposed large amount of resources it would take to properly make clothes for all bodies. It feels like brands care more about being exclusive by keeping fashion inaccessible than they do about making money.

As a fat person, it is exhausting to be continually let down by designers. It’s so easy for them to put one look on a size 14 model and call it a day. The worst part is that they get away with it. When the majority of those in attendance at NYFW can easily shop everything on the runway in their size, they don’t think twice about a show only having one plus model. We repeatedly see brands, whose pieces only go up to a ten, receive praise for being inclusive when that isn’t the case. The only way to change this is by holding the industry accountable, which is why we need more fat people in shows and at shows. 

Here are two brands from NYFW that do just that by setting the standard for not just plus-size fashion, but size-inclusive fashion. Yes, there is a difference.

Chromat

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 12: Designers Becca McCharen-Tran and Tourmaline pose with models after the Chromat x Tourmaline Spring/Summer 2022 Runway Show at New York Fashion Week on September 12, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Sean Zanni/Getty Images for Chromat)Sean Zanni

Chromat was the most inclusive brand at NYFW in more ways than one. The brand is known for its size-inclusive swimwear and has carried inclusive sizing since it started, currently offering up to a size 30. For this collection designer, Becca McCharen-Tran, collaborated with the artist Tourmaline to create pieces for people who don’t tuck. Many femme-trans people have struggled with swimwear bottoms that fit comfortably and Chromat is providing a solution. The show paid tribute to the late Marsha P. Johnson with hair, makeup, and location. The beach at Jacob Riis Park is where she met her lover.

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