When you work in fashion, you hear a pretty repetitive script around plus size clothing: “the fabric looms don’t come that big,” “the point of the model is to be a hanger so ANYONE can see themselves,” “plus size women just don’t buy luxury fashion,” and so on and so on. To be totally fair, below the surface there is some truth to these claims, primarily when it comes to the manufacturing space.
If you’re a plus size buyer, you know that when an item has been simply made bigger from a size 6 or 8, it doesn’t guarantee the fit will be the same at a size 18 or 24. Yet that’s exactly what most brands do: They think about extended sizing as a check mark, and when those extended sizes don’t sell due to a poor fit, they pull back on the manufacturing and claim that the customer isn’t there, despite a very vocal community telling them otherwise.
Lauren Chan, founder of Henning, has had a long career in fashion. Formerly a fashion editor at
Glamour magazine and Vogue Italia, Lauren had a front row seat in the fashion industry and witnessed the size inclusion problem firsthand. The problem didn’t just manifest in not having access to plus clothes — there were plenty of brands making size inclusive clothing that Lauren had access to. The issue was having access to the same type of quality and design variety as her straight size counterparts.
Lauren sat down with us to share what she’s doing differently in order to create a luxury fashion brand within an industry that hasn’t evolved that much over the course of the century.
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