Why Luxury Brands Are Failing Plus Size Customers
Luxury fashion should be accessible for everyone, irrespective of size, weight and race but sadly, many of us know only too well that this isn’t the case. With its failure to provide any kind of representation for body types that don’t meet the ‘norm,’ (white, tall and slim), many people are excluded from their entire ranges, with no possibility of ever wearing their clothes unless they lose weight and force themselves to succumb to the popular beauty standard.
While it is true that some luxury fashion brands have started using models from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, in terms of producing clothes such as figure dresses for the average UK woman (or man), little to no progress has been made. And contrary to what luxury fashion brands seem to believe, the ‘average’ woman is definitely not a 6ft tall, size 8 woman without a curve in sight!
What luxury items are available to plus size customers?
We know that most luxury fashion brands aren’t going to be designing plus sized clothes anytime soon, so what luxury items are available for the average UK woman who doesn’t resemble a catwalk model?
Handbags, shoes, purses, scarves and jewellery. Is that it? Well, can you think of anything else? That said, some popular luxury brands have begun to produce clothes with larger sizing options, but often it’s limited to tops or oversized jackets and drawstring trousers. For a plus sized customer to find an entire outfit that fits them and that they love, is notoriously difficult.
With very few realistic options for plus sized customers seeking luxury fashion items, aren’t brands missing out on a large demographic (no pun intended!) who could bring money in for them, though? The answer is probably yes, but that would jeopardize their reputation?
The importance of representation in the fashion industry
When a certain demographic isn’t represented fairly or equally in the media (which includes the fashion industry), many individuals go on to question their own validity within society as a whole, and lead them to feel ostracized and outcasted. While you could argue that it isn’t the responsibility of luxury fashion brands to validate individuals and make them feel worthy, it would certainly go a long way to changing the way plus sized people are represented in the media, and treated in life, in general. Couple the size exclusion with the fact that their clothing is ultra-expensive, and you’ve got a significant sector of society who are simply unable to purchase any luxury items.
By creating additional sizing so that plus sized customers could indulge in their clothing should they wish to, luxury brands could make themselves more inclusive, and give everyone the opportunity to look and feel good in their clothes. This in turn, would expand both their profit margins and their customer base – a win-win, you’d think?
Fortunately, thanks to smaller boutiques, plus sized customers can find affordable, luxury clothing that fits their bodies and makes them feel good, but their choices are almost certainly limited when compared to the wider luxury fashion industry.
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