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Old 5th March 2006   #1
Erika
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Join Date: August 2005
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Default Plus-size styling and merchandising

I got a generous tax return this year and decided to spend my modest fortune on some beatiful new clothes. I went to the Nordstrom's website and browsed the plus collection. I was appalled at the interjection of straight size, no, they weren't even straight size, they were Holocaust victims, in the plus-size adverts. I was shocked! It was so disturbing to me. And then, I came upon their true plus-size models (Barbara, Ashley, etc.), and on every picture, I felt compelled to click and see details about the outfit. I cannot stress how different it is to see clothing filled out by beautiful curves than hanging all over a woman whose head is the biggest feature on her body. I cannot believe what I saw this evening.

Why do plus retailers insult their target audience by featuring starvation victims in their ads? These clothes come to life on full figures, they absolutely come to life! So what are the merchandisers waiting for? Why can't they see this? I can't wait for the day when this is once again the norm for female beauty, when the time-honored standard of voluptuousness, true voluptuousness, is revered. I hope my daughter is the great beneficiary of this once-and-future ideal.
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Old 8th March 2006   #2
HSG
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Default Re: Plus-size styling and merchandising


This is truly a regrettable practice--and quite surprising, too, considering that Nordstrom has created some of the most consistently size-positive imagery in the industry. It has regularly featured Barbara Brickner and other size 14+ goddesses, and has seldom resorted to using faux-plus models, let alone minus-size stick figures.

Perhaps the items in question are available both for plus-size and straight-size customers, and the company employed the same images in both categories. If so, they would undoubtedly have had better success if they had photographed the items exclusively on full-figured rather than straight-size models, and featured those images in both categories. Underweight women can relate to plus-size imagery just as easily as curvaceous women can, since plus-size models represent the natural, feminine standard of appearance (not to mention the size range majority of North American women). And, as Erika points out, clothing invariably looks better on a curvaceous figure than on a skeletal frame.

Let's hope that in the future, Nordstrom will reaffirm its traditionally positive advertising practices, rather than introducing the highly unpopular waif look.

Barbara at her inimitable best, in the pages of one of Nordstrom's Spring 2006 print catalogues:


Last edited by HSG : 8th March 2006 at 14:12.
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Old 14th March 2006   #3
Emily
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Default Re: Plus-size styling and merchandising

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erika
And then, I came upon their true plus-size models (Barbara, Ashley, etc.), and on every picture, I felt compelled to click and see details about the outfit. I cannot stress how different it is to see clothing filled out by beautiful curves than hanging all over a woman whose head is the biggest feature on her body. These clothes come to life on full figures, they absolutely come to life!

I agree. It's surprising that Nordstrom -- or anyone -- would use any other models but full-figured models for showcasing their apparel, let alone in their actual plus-size department. There isn't a single article of clothing that doesn't look dramatically better on a curvaceous figure.

And this is especially evident at Nordstrom. Their images of Barbara Brickner prove this point best of all -- for example, this stunning image of Barbara in a sizzling red-dress:



Here are two pics of Ashley Graham which earn Nordstrom some praise. Her figure has been allowed to look very soft and natural. Also, it's interesting how they lit her skin tone in a different manner in either image, to better compliment the shade of the clothing:



And just today, I noticed a new model in their plus section who looks very curvaceous, and highly photogenic as well. I don't know who she is, but she makes that top/jeans combo look very tempting for purchase.



Nordstrom should definitely continue and expand on its use of true plus-size models. When it does, it can boast of having some of the most appealing (and size-celebratory) advertising in the industry.

http://store.nordstrom.com/product/...True&pfindid=13
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Old 14th March 2006   #4
HSG
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Default Re: Plus-size styling and merchandising


The fair-haired model is indeed most charismatic, and genuinely full-figured. It would be interesting to see her wearing a more romantic hairstyle. Even the top, with its soft hues, is rather prettier than the usual casual fare.

If one were put to it, one might hazard a guess that the girl in question is Krista Thomsen, a size-14 beauty represented by Heffner Management in Seattle:

The fact that she is "local" argues in favour of this supposition. However, it is really only a guess.

Nordstrom has contributed so much to the cause of size celebration, particularly in recent seasons with its phenomenal Barbara Brickner campaigns, that it would be most regrettable if the company were to abandon its size-positive politicies. We tend to believe that this will not happen, and rather, that Nordstrom will continue producing the pro-curvy advertising that has earned it so many loyal customers . . .

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Old 20th March 2006   #5
M. Lopez
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Default Re: Plus-size styling and merchandising

Nordstrom now features several more images of that lovely fair-haired model, as well as a new product page.

Here are two more images of the above top, in different color schemes:



And here is another top, again in different shades:



I agree that longer hair, or wearing her hair loose, would really benefit her. But the images are very attractive, and they've photographed her in a pro-curvy way- especially the blue image. Barbara is always the quintessential Nordstrom model, but she makes a fine blonde compliment.

http://store.nordstrom.com/product/...True&pfindid=13
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Old 27th March 2006   #6
Susan
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Default Re: Plus-size styling and merchandising

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erika
Why do plus retailers insult their target audience by featuring starvation victims in their ads? These clothes come to life on full figures, they absolutely come to life! So what are the merchandisers waiting for? Why can't they see this? I can't wait for the day when this is once again the norm for female beauty, when the time-honored standard of voluptuousness, true voluptuousness, is revered. I hope my daughter is the great beneficiary of this once-and-future ideal.


My mother, my grandmother, my mother-in-law, my former mother-in-law, every single one of my sisters... all of their voices are in my head, telling me that I have to lose weight if I want to be attractive at all. It's a weird sort of group-think, and one that I'm determined my daughter will break free from. Even though she just turned 5, I've already heard her ask, "Do I look f** in this shirt?" Almost every day I have a chat with her about how round women are more beautiful, and about once a week I bring her to this web site and let her see all of the beautiful, voluptuous women, constantly reinforcing that femininity is roundness and curves, not bones and angles. If Rachel has a voice in her head, I want it to be one that tells her how fabulous she looks in that shirt.

Thank you all for being voices in the wilderness.
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Old 27th March 2006   #7
Erika
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Default Re: Plus-size styling and merchandising

I have this discussion constantly with my daughter. I show her this website frequently, because it is a huge concern of mine that she feel differently about her body than I do about mine. But I wanted to share with you an experience from this weekend. I went to an engagement with several married couples, and was bemoaning the fact that women were expected to be thin to be attractive, and a nice young gentleman told me, "How about this? You are very attractive as you are without being skinny. I look at today's fashion magazines and think all the women look like boys. I want some substance!" What's amazing is that he said this in front of a room full of men...his peers. Times are changing, they really are, and slowly, the aesthetic of feminine beauty will return to what is classical and biological. It was a wonderful, spontaneous compliment, and very representative of the growing group of men who recognize that true femininity is about curves and softness. The opposite of androgyny.
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