The plus-size market is experiencing a not so quiet revolution. For a very long time the conversation about plus-size fashion was closed off to those in the community, and it wasn’t a topic of interest for a lot of press or those in the fashion industry as a whole.
In 2015 we saw more of a dialogue in mainstream media about plus-size fashion thanks to body advocates and models like Ashley Graham, Tess Holliday, and actress Melissa McCarthy. It was truly empowering to see Tess Holiday on the cover of People Magazine and Ashley Graham in the swim issue of Sports Illustrated, her speech for TED Talks and her body proud series on GMA.
Despite the conversation, there is still a huge gap in the market place. While over 60% of women wear a 14+ in clothing, the plus-size apparel market only represents 14% of all apparel sales. This is shocking statistic and shows what an underserved market it truly is. As a plus-size retailer Addition Elle has always recognized the gap between what was offered for the plus-size market versus straight sizing and we knew there was a tremendous amount of potential to offer an incredible store and online experience with trendy clothing that could also deliver on the promise of “Fashion Democracy where style isn’t limited by Size.” It was this positioning this idea and mission statement that essentially changed our destiny and everything involved, from the clothes to the store experience. By bringing this retail concept to the plus-size market we have been able to serve this market with the experience everyone expects.
Our focus is on delivering fashionable, on trend clothing for our customers no matter a woman’s size. To accomplish this goal we have been guided by the trends that we have seen on the runway or in fast-fashion retailers so we could deliver the same designs to the plus-size market. In doing so, we have developed brands under the Addition Elle umbrella that cater to the different lifestyle needs from career separates from Michel Studio to trendier clothing under Love & Legend brand. We also have an athletic and leisure line called Nola and an extensive line of sexy lingerie anchored by Ashley Graham intimates as well as our Deésse brand.
For Spring 2016 the trends that we are featuring throughout the Addition Elle lines are the same trends featured on the runway. There are still influences from the 70’s with lace up detailing in shirts and dresses, bohemian embroidery, off the shoulder tops and military influences. The shirt-dress has made a comeback and we are seeing many variations for Spring along with Suede is still going strong. We are excited to launch our next blogger collaboration with Nicolette Mason. We did our first blogger collaboration last season with Nadia Aboulhosn and the response was incredible. We plan to continue to collaborate with Nadia on a second collection for Fall. One of our long term collaborations has been with Ashley Graham in designing her lingerie collection which has expanded to new markets outside of our stores. We now have launched her collection at Nordstrom, Navabi and Simplybe. We will be expanding in spring to include Bare Necessities. When we are at photo shoots constantly love to tease our fans with images of upcoming collections to get their feedback and create excitement. We love getting that instant feedback about our collections and understanding the trends our customers are most excited to try. We continue to push the envelope to bring the most exciting fashions to our customers and can’t wait to show the world what’s in coming up for the spring season.
When I look back at 2015 I think the pivotal moment for Addition Elle was our first runway show at NYFW. It was an important moment for us and allowed us to deliver on our vision statement. By showing at mainstream New York Fashion Week, instead of featuring it after or before like brands have done in the past, we have shown the world you can’t segregate plus-size fashion anymore. This decision to show during NYFW was met with an incredible amount of support from everyone. We generated the most press from the show with over 2 million people featuring the Addition Elle show, and Ashley’s image from her appearance in our show made the top 10 memorable images of the week along with Pope Francis. Overall I think 2015 was an remarkable year for Addition Elle and the plus-size fashion industry and I think 2016 will be open the door for more opportunity and support.
By: Roslyn Griner. ADDITION ELLE’s Vice President of Marketing and Visual Display