We love New York Fashion Week. The energy, the excitement, the clothes—it’s a whirlwind week of fashion fun. But as we watch runway shows and see collections hit shelves, we’re reminded of one of the unfortunate truths of the fashion industry: There aren’t many options for plus-size women.
Fortunately, people in positions of power are speaking up. The latest person to do so is fashion consultant and Project Runway mentor Tim Gunn. Earlier this week, Gunn penned an op-ed for The Washington Post slamming designers and the fashion industry as a whole for neglecting plus-size women.
“I love the American fashion industry, but it has a lot of problems, and one of them is the baffling way it has turned its back on plus-size women,” he wrote.
He cites research from Washington State University, saying there are 100 million plus-size women in America, and today’s average American woman wears between a size 16 and 18. And yet, despite this captive market, most designers still don’t size up their clothes.
“This is a design failure and not a customer issue. There is no reason larger women can’t look just as fabulous as all other women,” he continued. “The key is the harmonious balance of silhouette, proportion and fit, regardless of size or shape. Designs need to be reconceived, not just sized up; it’s a matter of adjusting proportions.”
Yes, Tim Gunn, yes. Thank you for being so real about this important issue. We hope that during NYFW and beyond, we start to see some more diversity in models and styles.