From Fashionista, here are the top 11 New Plus-Size and Size-Inclusive Brands! We're honored to be featured front and center for creating the Best Leather Jackets for Plus-Size. Here's an excerpt from the list, and why it's important...
All 67 designer Jeff Cafone got his start like all great designers — by accidentally purchasing a leather factory on Craigslist. (Yes, really.) As Cafone's made-to-measure leather jacket business boomed, he noticed his larger-size female customers were more appreciative of his designs. "I received nearly unanimous collective feedback," Cafone explains to Fashionista. "A quality leather piece was a foreign concept in plus sizes, and my work was meaningfully filling a gap in the market. When I dug deeper and really started exploring the idea of making ready-to-wear jackets solely in plus sizes, I went out and bought every moto-style piece I could find. I was shocked at how poor (and few) the options were. Most brands used fake leather and cheap materials. They were poorly designed and constructed, and the fits were generally floppy and lacking shape."
Shocked by the discrepancy of options between sizes 0 to 12 and sizes 14+, Cafone launched All 67. "I saw a huge opportunity to be the best and only high-end leather jacket for plus," says Cafone. "It made sense from a business standpoint, but also emotionally. There's a certain way that a great leather jacket makes you feel. Everyone deserves that feeling, regardless of the size on the label."
Cafone is not just breaking the mold on moto jackets, he's approaching his marketing in a way that we wish established brands would as well. For his inaugural campaign, Cafone cast a variety of un-retouched, non-professional models, including "Orange Is The New Black" star Lea DeLaria, to display All 67's entire size 12 to 30 range.
Founded by OG plus bloggers Nicolette Mason and Gabi Gregg, Premme is one of the few plus-size brands actually run by plus-size women, and it shows. Premme — a portmanteau of premier, premium, and femme — is focused on designs for sizes 12 through 30 that break the boundaries on what most other brands say plus-size women want.
Premme has been unsurprisingly popular, given that Gregg and Mason both have enormous followings and the experience to know what plus-size women want. "There have been huge waves in body positivity, representation, and visibility, but the market wasn't catching up to the demand for actual design-forward pieces," Mason tells Fashionista. "What makes Premme especially unique is our breadth of experience in this market, and that our design process is informed by that — as editors, influencers, thought leaders, and of course, actually being plus-size women and customers ourselves. But above all, we're offering a lot of design details in a size range and at a price point that has rarely, if ever, been done before: our full glitter suit, dresses with interesting and intricate cut-outs, and faux-fur trimmed moto jackets have been among our best sellers."
One of the most bizarre myths surrounding plus-size women is that plus-size women don’t buy luxury goods. Fortunately, the founders of 11 Honoré, Kathryn Retzer and Patrick Herning, knew that line of thinking was wrong.
Stocking high-end designers known for a more inclusive mindset, like Christian Siriano and Prabal Gurung, as well as other industry-favorites that many may not even be aware offer size 10-20, 11 Honoré is, as Retzer put it, "a destination where all women are honored and luxury has no limitis.
Retzer and Herning didn't have to look far for their inspiration. "We thought about so many incredible women in our lives – friends, industry colleagues, family and both of our mothers, who have all been underserved in the fashion and retail space, and saw an opportunity to bring this consumer luxury and designer fashion," Herning explains. "We wanted to disrupt the way that fashion approaches this customer by bringing her a positive shopping experience and a top-notch selection. High end luxury designers were extremely sparse in the retail landscape above a size 12. Runway styles didn't exist for our customer and we are looking to close this gap in all categories and bring her the same luxury fashion that is available for women sizes 0 to 10."
If you want to shop in a brick-and-mortar store in NYC and you're under a size 14, the world is your oyster. With the exception of two major brands (Lane Bryant and Ashley Stewart), there were no other physical retail locations specifically for size 14-plus women until Alexis Krase opened Plus BKLYN this year.
Located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Plus BKLYN offers plus-size women that shopping experience they've sorely lacked, while still providing an e-commerce experience for those who aren't in the area. "As a life long plus-size girl and 15-year New Yorker, for years I struggled to find accessible clothing options in my size, a 24, that were uniquely my style." says Krase. "Of the limited plus options available, almost all of them were online only or the fit was off, often poor or matronly and designed to hide my shape. I was really shocked that in all of New York City I couldn't seem to find hip, fun, edgy or youthful options — or really any options at all other than the big box chain stores. I knew there were many fashion conscious women just like me, and because no other boutique or store was meeting that need I thought, 'Hell, I'll do it myself.' Additionally, our brick and mortar presence is a major differentiator, as it's one of the only environments that a plus size woman in New York City can walk in and know that all of the clothes there were made to fit her body."
Vintage-lovers should get excited for Plus BKLYN in 2018. "In the New Year we'll be carrying plus size vintage, which is oh-so-hard to find, as many women know," says Krase. "Additionally, look out for our Spring/Summer 2018 house line, which I could not be more excited about. Beyond that, we're really excited to get out in the community and hold more events and workshops in our space around body positivity, inclusivity in fashion & much more."
For way too long, plus-size swimsuits were matronly and dowdy; your options were either basic black or overly distracting prints, with nary a chic choice in sight. Things have vastly improved, but one of the hardest styles to find was a sexy string bikini — that is, until Curvy Beach was born.
Triangle string bikinis can be challenging for many women, in that those triangles can often be tiny and unsupportive. Plus-size model Elizabeth Taylor (yes, that's her real name) made sure that wouldn't be an issue with Curvy Beach thank to its 8 to 26 and B to J cup size range. Clearly, Taylor is doing something right, as she made a profit in her first year (something many businesses don't). "With over 12 million views of our Refinery29 video and selling out stock out in minutes, it was obviously something plus women had been looking for but not found yet," says Taylor. "Women's stories are the heart and soul of Curvy Beach. I want her to know her body is OKAY and does not need all the 'tricks' our society tells us to enjoy it. My suits work with a woman's shape and do not push, flatten, or pinch. The beach should be fun and it has to start with how you feel as soon as you step into your bikini."
Possibly best known for being the first plus-size designer to win "Project Runway", Ashley Nell Tipton has finally relaunched her eponymous collection.
Tipton's design career began way before "Project Runway," so it's not shocking that she returned to her roots and focused on bringing her design aesthetic to those she knows are often overlooked. "I created Ashley Nell Tipton Designs to empower people," Tipton explains. "Being a plus size woman myself, it's very important to me to contribute to my community. I know what it's like to not have options, so it's always been my mission to provide them. I'm very committed to providing an open size range, which only a number of retailers and designers do. Most stop at a 24, and I go up to a 5x."