The Plus Size industry is still in its infant stages right now, only beginning to pick up steam within the last three years or so, however I unfortunately see it stalling very soon. Not to say it won’t be around, because it will always exist, but it will top out and stay stagnant if we don’t act fast!
Let’s get right to the point. Big companies don’t invest enough in events, advertising, magazines, bloggers, and even products or design. Plus size events still don’t come close to what mainstream is doing, smaller plus size businesses have gotten comfortable and cliquish—basically putting a ceiling on their growth. It’s easy to lose sight when you get a small taste of success, but that’s all it is…SMALL. We need to seriously think about longevity because we have reached a plateau and it’s time to take chances.
I read today that a size 6 is now considered “Plus” so that means that a good portion of the world is now considered plus size yet our numbers don’t reflect that at all! To put this in perspective just look at your Facebook numbers, Google Analytics or Twitter followers. 10,000+ might seem impressive and even 1,000,000 might get you excited but there are now 7 billion people on earth and even if half those people are considered plus size that’s 3.5 billion. Now take a fraction of that, say 50 million; I don’t know of any plus size store, magazine or event that even has 1/50 of that which is equal to 1 million followers…Where are our numbers? Where is the support for magazines, companies, events and more? Consumers just don’t know we exist yet, so we have to get the word out by any means necessary. This means constantly working together and sharing.
Lane Bryant is a perfect example, on facebook they have not even reached 500,000 likes and they have been around forever. They are considered the “Number One” clothing company in the world for full figured women. That’s disturbing that they are a multi-million dollar company providing quality clothing with worldwide exposure for a century and they haven’t hit a million “Likes” yet? What chance do the rest of us have? This is why we need to show more support, publicly, so the world knows we exist.
I think full figured artists need to be much more supportive of the plus size industry. It’s rare that we see current A-list celebrities giving us exclusives, but they do for mainstream in a heartbeat. Anytime they walk a red carpet event they should be verbally promoting a plus size clothing designer.
The plus size world can be so much more and I want to believe in it and help it gain the acceptance it deserves. “When times are at their worst, people are at their best.” I like to think positive but I also like to be honest.
What do you think?