Forever 21 and H&M+ cater to the plus-size range international and have yet no market in India.
The plus-size fashion industry has a rocky road journey until now and yet got a long way to go. As even today the plus-size population faces challenges from being body-shamed to finding a perfect size outfit only at a plus-size showroom. Plus-size fashion defined as a ‘size larger than those found in the standard range’, the range was bought by manufacturers which led to society’s perception of the plus-size fashion industry.
The plus-size fashion industry came into existence in the early 20th century with one person, Lane Bryant, a businesswoman and designer, who started her first plus-size store in 1904 on New York’s Fifth Avenue, one of the most famous shopping streets in the world. In the early days of the store, the most bestselling item was a maternity dress and soon it dropped to second place as the success of her plus-size clothes boomed. Tracing back the history, since the 17th Century, women with curvy figures were seen as being healthy and as owning lots of wealth and considered as an ideal body shape.
The Plus-Size Fashion Industry
In the present scenario, the plus-size fashion industry is worth over $20 billion alone in the US and is set in the booming stage with more fashion brands and designers are adding plus-size models and plus-size clothing into the fashion business. Throughout the 2000s, we are seeing arise in body positivity while we are still far from embracing beauty come in all shapes and sizes as retailers have always treated plus-size shopper as a different race with a special set of rules such as to avoid bright colors and never do horizontal stripes. Nevertheless, fashion businesses are starting to cater to plus-size clothing needs and moving ahead to fill the gap globally.
Talking about the Indian plus-size fashion industry it still has a long way to go, while almost non-existent. Almost a large number of pupils in India fits into this category, the plus-size market is often ignored, underrepresented and unconsidered. While Adele, Melisa McCarthy, Tess Holiday, Ashley Nell and many more are breaking the stereotypes globally by bringing a successful career to the fashion and entertainment table and yet in India we have only a handful of plus-size in the industry today. And the most recognizable face is comedian, Bharti Singh known for her bold, modest and humour against fat-shaming.
Plus-Size Clothing Market In India
While brands, like Forever 21 and H&M+ cater to the plus-size range international and have yet no market in India. While these problems are constantly faced by the dominant shoppers some brands chose to be size inclusive and give a body-positive approach. Indian brands like Sassy Soda, aLL, Mustard, Tailorman, Global Desi and global brand available in India like Marks & Spencer, Dorthy Perkins go for a body-positive fashion approach.
Nevertheless, not only the brands but plus-size fashion bloggers, writers, models also need a chance in the mainstream media and on a larger platform, to be considered as normal rather odd size and to be considered as a majority. Hence a better representation of them in India is much needed in the fashion and entertainment world.