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MelanieW
29th June 2007, 09:56
For those who are interested in such things, here is an interesting article about the runaway growth of the plussize fashion industry:

http://publications.mediapost.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Articles.showArticleHomePage&art_aid=63309

It specifically deals with the competition between plus-specialty chains, like Lane Bryant, Torrid, etc., and mass retailers that stock plussize fashions.

The stakes are high, and getting higher:

sales of women's/girls' plus-size apparel across all channels reached $47 billion last year, accounting for 27% of all clothing sales and nearly 40% of all women's/girls' apparel sales...

Between 2001 and 2006, the plus-size...segment grew by 41%... and [is] projected to grow by 37% between 2006 and 2012, to reach $65 billion...

But the really important observation in the article is this:

If mass retailers began including more diverse body types in their advertising...the specialty channel, which is "on the bubble," would suffer greatly, they predict.
In other words, the only thing holding back the mass retailers is their failure to use plussize models. If those retailers would begin to use plussize models, their sales would skyrocket.

This shouldnt just be a lesson to mass retailers, but to the specialty chains as well. What the articles doesnt note is that many plus-specialty chains do NOT use plussize models, but either faux-plus or straight-size models - driving away potential customers in droves.

The lesson to either competitor, plus-specialty or mass retailer, is that the best way to gain market share is by using models who are genuinely and visibly full-figured.

Lane Bryant has a huge opportunity later this year with the imminent debut of its catalogue. If that catalogue features gorgeous models over a size 14, it will be a tremendous success.

But ANY retailer can boost its market share by using models who are both fuller-figured and more beautiful than the ones they choose today.

The market is there for the winning...

HSG
11th September 2007, 15:54
The lesson to either competitor, plus-specialty or mass retailer, is that the best way to gain market share is by using models who are genuinely and visibly full-figured...

But ANY retailer can boost its market share by using models who are both fuller-figured and more beautiful than the ones they choose today.
Very true. Readers may have heard that the plus-size chain The Avenue has just been sold to a different parent company. For years, The Avenue has produced some of the most dismal advertising of any full-figure fashion retailer in the world, consisting of an endless parade of faux-plus models: 6-foot-tall size 12s, who basically look identical to straight-size models. But despite the fact that its sales were stagnant, despite the fact that the company continually insulted its customers by refusing to present models with actual full figures, The Avenue refused to budge in its size-negative advertising.

Think about it: the American population consists of a greater number of full-figured women than ever before, and they are spending more money on clothing than they ever have in the past. If a company is <i>not</i> increasing sales and market share, then its advertising is clearly on the wrong track.

However, the individuals who organize fashion campaigns are so intractably committed to their anti-plus aesthetic, that even imminent collapse cannot force them to admit that their aesthetic bias is flat-out wrong.

It's as if they would sooner see their companies <i>fail</i> than showcase the kind of gorgeous, genuinely fuller-figured models that the public requests--indeed, demands. They cannot realize that <i>their own</i> vision is distorted, and that the body type which they consider "too curvy" is what the public regards as "gorgeous." But arrogance and egotism prevent them from admitting this--even to themselves.

One would hope that The Avenue (now that it is under new management) would finally curtail its use of offensively thin models, and begin featuring more generously-proportioned goddesses. But even if it doesn't, this will simply leave the field open to any progressive retailer that employs actual plus-size models.

Anna Kleinsorge (size 14), attractive new face at Dorothy Combs Models:<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/annak01.jpg"></center></p>Note the snug fit of the blouse, which gives what would otherwise have been a conservative piece a highly sensual look.