NYFW embraces the beauty and business of bigger style

Global Business

The fashion industry has long-favored the tall and slim, but it is starting to embrace the idea that bigger can be better.

LVMH and Kering, whose labels include Gucci, Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton have just banned using size 0 models.

CGTN’s Karina Huber has more.

Department stores like J.C. Penney and Target have gone further— producing their own collections for larger women.

Vogue magazine featured plus-sized supermodel Ashley Graham on the cover for the first time this year. On the catwalk in New York the models were noticeably bigger.

Last year, 27 plus-sized models walked the runway at New York Fashion Week. This year it’s substantially more. That’s thanks in part to Torrid, a plus-sized label that makes clothing size 10 to 30. It showed at New York Fashion Week for the first time ever, featuring more than two dozen models.

Experts said the industry is embracing a market it once ignored, because it makes good business sense.

U.S. sales of women’s clothing size 14 and up generated $21.4 billion in revenue last year. That’s a 6 percent increase from 2015 and double the growth rate of overall apparel sales.

David Bell, Professor at the Wharton School of Business said social media has given a voice to the plus-sized market which now demands more fashion forward options.

“I think the fashion industry isn’t really dictated anymore top down – you know I’m the tastemaker. I decide who says what, but actually it’s really bottom up.”

In more ways than one, Women on the larger side said it’s about time.

“It should be normal to see women that look like you or look like your moms or your sisters or your aunt on fashion week,” Darlene Lebron, blogger of Suits, Heels and Curves said. “It should not only be what we idealize as the perfect shape or the perfect body.”

The idea that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes seems to be gaining momentum. Marketing research, customer demographics and what we’re seeing on fashion runways, indicate the idea will only grow.

Fashion designer Jia Liu discusses her parent-child brand, Comme Tu Es

CGTN’s Karina Huber spoke with Comme Tu Es fashion designer Jia Liu about her brand during New York Fashion Week.