|L to R: All the World's a Birdcage Dress, Heart and Solar Dress, About the Artist Dress in Lilac|
The day began with an invite-only presentation by ModCloth, during which they explained their branding and why it works, their intentions behind expanding their plus line, and where they plan to take it in the future. It's a fact: plus size women hold 28% of the retail buying power in the United States right now, while only about 6% of the market actually caters to them. It might not surprise you to hear that more women in the U.S. wear a size 16 than sizes 0 and 2 combined. So where are all the plus size clothes?
I've ruminated over the facts presented to us that afternoon, and one thing is very clear to me: fat stigma is responsible for not only sizing people over a 14 out of accessible clothing options, but also preventing clothing retailers from making some serious bank. Given that 57% of American women are wearing size 16 and above these days, plus size clothing has the potential to be a multibillion dollar industry. It seems to make nothing but perfect sense that someone should come along and deliver on the demands of this particular community. Defying all logic, chain retailers have made it clear time and time again that they do not want fat folks in their stores. Most plus size retailers, save for a small handful, have either done away with their plus lines (Eloquii), moved them online only (Old Navy), or limit the plus items they carry to very few select stores (H&M). Most of these retailers also do not carry past a size 3x, or 24.
When these retailers are questioned as to why they don't promote their plus lines more, generic answers along the lines of "the market is just not there" are typically given. Um, what?! That seems very unlikely, considering research shows that 1/3 of American women are "inbetweenies," meaning they wear items in both straight and plus sizes. So why wouldn't you just offer every item in every size? Oh yeah, because fat = poor, right? Not so. In fact, plus size women are more likely to shop online, spend 25% more, and buy 17% more items than their straight size counterparts. (Like, we have to, because you price plus items 20% higher for no reason and won't let us in your stores!)
This is where ModCloth comes in.
|Karen Walker, eat your heart out: Glasses Half Full Dress|
|Just have to brag, I received two of these stickers from shoppers at the event.|
Miss Indie. They hope to be able to offer more sizes and more styles (without going off-brand, obviously) in the coming years. They are also planning to expand the amount of production they can do under their in-house labels (such as the aforementioned Retrolicious), which would provide more opportunity to expand and perfect their sizing.