"The history around sizing in America is long and fascinating. In short, while men's clothing sizes are logically determined
by measuring the inches around a man's neck or waist, women's clothing is delineated by a set of arbitrary sizes originating from a survey of 15,000 women compiled in 1939 and 1940 by the National Bureau of Home Economics, a government agency that was once part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
A trade group of mail-order retailers, such as Sears, then cobbled together that data, as well as data from 6,500 women in the army during World War II and other measurement studies, and created a commercial standard that it thought would help them get more people to buy ready-made clothing, as opposed to clothes made at home or from a local dressmaker. The Department of Commerce withdrew the commercial standard for the sizing of women's apparel in 1982, but many clothing manufacturers still use molds and designs made to fit women of the 1940s."*
"Annual U.S. sales of women's plus-size apparel, size 14 and higher, rose by 17 percent to $20.4 Billion in 2016, from $17.4 Billion in 2013. The average American woman now wears between a size 16 and a size 18, according to new research from Washington State University."* "There are 100 million plus-size women in America and, for the past three years, they have increased their spending on clothes faster than their straight-size counterparts. There is money to be made here, but many designers still refuse to make clothes for them. There is no reason larger women can't look as fabulous as all other women. The key is a harmonious balance of silhouette, proportion, and fit regardless of size or shape."**
Plus-size women have long been able to shop for handbags, sunglasses, jewelry, and shoes at high-end designer shops.
However, if that same shopper is a size 12 or above, the selection is slim or non-existent. We encourage you to let your favorite designers know that you want them to design clothing for you, the plus-size woman of today. Better yet, demand it!
Market Outlook credits- *Shelly Banjo and Rani Molla Bloomberg/Gadfly Article May 10, 2016 'Retailers Ignore Most of America's Women'; **Tim Gunn Washington Post Article September 8, 2016 'Tim Gunn: Designers refuse to make clothes to fit American women. It's a disgrace'.
Become a part of the CurvesBeReal campaign!
post your own photos #curvesbereal
The idealized version of female beauty has varied widely from ancient to modern times. Today, most people (including many from the fashion industry) think plus-size starts at size 14US and above. However, plus-size at high-end fashion houses officially starts at size 8US and above. We conceived this body positive campaign in order to showcase the beauty of plus-size women, who traditionally have been ignored, marginalized and generally shunned by the fashion industry, designers and advertisers. We believe that women of all sizes can and should be proud, confident, and empowered for who they are and for what they have accomplished rather than what size dress they wear.
To coincide with New York Fashion Week, our CurvesBeReal portraits will be on exhibit beginning February 8th through April 15th, 2017. Our gallery storefront is located at 520 West 27th street, between 10th and 11th Avenues in New York City. Each week, three new CurvesBeReal portraits will be on display. In addition to the portraits, we will be posting heartfelt commentaries from each of our models in the campaign on our commentary page of the website. Visit us weekly to be inspired and empowered by their life stories.
The CurvesBeReal campaign was created by Robert Huitron and Ken Robinson. Robert and Ken have been in the NYC Fashion Industry for over 25 years. Robert is a Hair/Makeup Artist, and Ken is a Director of Photography. Their client list includes many prominent Fashion Industry Retailers, Magazines, Catalogs, and Celebrities.
On December 4th, 2017, CurvesBeReal the magazine was launched.