'Plus-size’ is a concept that has long been one of contempt and anguish in the fashion industry for shoppers and designers alike. From size six models being considered ‘plus-size,' to the blatant disregard that women who aren’t a size four exist, curvier women often get ignored when it comes to clothing.
Last year, athletic wear company Lululemon was accused of shunning plus-size women by hiding the larger sizes (10 and 12), unfolded, in the back of the store as part of their marketing technique to show that the store was indicative of fashionable, fit women. Plus-sizes didn’t belong.
According to a report by Plunkett Research the average American woman wears a size 14 and 67 percent of the population wear plus sizes—sizes between 14 and 34.
While in recent years plus-size models have seen a slight spike (Marquita Pring, Ashley Graham, Robyn Lawley) and designers and retailers (Asos, Isabel Toledo) are beginning to acknowledge and seek to accommodate the majority of American women, the subject is still taboo in the industry. Just ask actress Melissa McCarthy.
McCarthy, the comedienne known for her roles in ‘Bridesmaids’ and ‘Identity Theft,’ disclosed that she had trouble finding someone to make her a dress two Oscar’s ago in a Redbook magazine interview. “I asked five or six designers—very high-level ones who make lots of dresses for people—and they all said no,” McCarthy said.
Designer Daniella Pearl eventually designed McCarthy a gown for the evening and has been working with the actress ever since. Now, the pair is teaming up to create a clothing line for average sized women deemed ‘plus-size’ by the fashion industry. The sartorially spunky McCarthy has a background in clothing and textiles and attended the Fashion Institute of Technology.
If her collection is anything like her wardrobe, shoppers can expect bold patterns, graphic prints and structured, color-blocked clothing. As she returns to her design roots, McCarthy feels her career is coming full circle. "I went from FIT to doing stand-up, so I feel like I am going back to it."