Have you ever wondered how fashion blogging and the plus size movement started? If you’re a curvy woman looking for stylish, affordable plus size clothing, you’ll find that here too. Plus size bloggers have dramatically changed the fashion industry over the last couple of years.
How Fashion Blogging Started
Fashion blogs are relatively new. The first fashion blog appeared in the blogosphere prior to 2002. Since 2002, fashion blogs have received numerous media mentions and the number of fashion blogs has grown considerably. Fashion blogs grew from one in 2002 to over 100 in 2006.
Kathryn Finney, the creator of the blog The Budget Fashionista, began blogging in April 2003 as a hobby. She started blogging full-time in June 2004. The Budget Fashionista was one of the first fashion blogs on the internet, and it’s still one of the top fashion blogs on the internet. Kathryn Finney was invited to New York Fashion Week as early as September 2003. A short time later, Fashiontribes.com was being seated fourth row at shows such as Bill Blass. By 2008, Tina Craig and Kelly Cook of Bag Snob.com were seated second row at shows like Diane von Furstenberg and Oscar de la Renta.
Fashion blogs have become extremely popular in the fashion press, and they’re still growing popularity.
Numerous fashion bloggers were invited to designers’ fashion shows in 2006 compared to previous years. Large retailers have started purchasing advertising on fashion blogs. Other large retailers are targeting fashion blogs for public relations.
Many media organizations have started their own fashion blogs. Popular fashion bloggers have been receiving mainstream media positions.
Fashion blogging is considered newsworthy. Many media publications have written about fashion blogs such as the New York Times, Sydney Morning Herald, the Wall Street Journal and Fast Company.
Not only have fashion blogs been receiving a lot of media attention, but they also are becoming highly profitable media business. Many independent and well-funded fashion blog networks are competing to get to the top of the list.
The Budget Fashionista now brings in over $600,000 per year in revenue. The Bag Snob generates a six-figure income that mainly comes from advertising. SheFinds.com was bringing in $400,000 in revenue by 2008. Personal fashion bloggers have mentioned that they bring in thousands of dollars from hosting an event or promoting a brand on social media.
Up until recently, a lot of fashion blogs wouldn’t post plus size models on their blogs, but now, this is quickly becoming more popular. Fashion blogs and the media have been criticised for years for not including plus sized models.
People on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter have constantly shown their support for all women no matter what size they are. People have been using the hashtag #MyCurvesAreBeautiful to show their support. The use of the hashtag was especially popular in May 2015 when people used the hashtag to post their support for curves appreciation day.
Thousands of women shared full-body pictures of their full-figures to encourage body confidence on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Curves appreciation day sparked attention from around the world. More women joined to celebrate the day by posting pictures of their full-figures. Thousands of women shared selfies of themselves with encouraging captions to let the world know that they’re happy in their skin.
In the last few years, fashion bloggers from all backgrounds and sizes decided to join the plus size movement.
Candace Stewart, a fashion blogger, published an article on Essence.com a couple of years ago discussing the best plus size bloggers.
Since bloggers have joined the plus size movement, curvy girls and women have received inspiration and a place to go without feeling ashamed. Plus size girls and women can now view clothes and fashion stories written by people who are also plus size.
Celebrities have always been criticized for gaining even the smallest amount of weight. It is common to have been told to lose weight before shooting for popular magazines. Today, celebrities are getting praises about how they dress up their curves.
When the fashion industry realized that they couldn’t make people feel bad about their weight, they decided to embrace curves. Melissa McCarthy and Amy Schumer have talked about these issues, and the fashion industry finally decided to listen to them.
Chastity Garner has a fashion blog named GarnerStyle. A few years ago, she wrote a post about one of the largest retailers in the world. The post ended with a boycott Target hashtag. The fashion blogger wrote the post after she became frustrated with not being able to find stylish, affordable clothes in her size in Target. She urged her followers to join her in the fight against Target. Target received the message, and they invited her and a couple of other plus size fashion bloggers to work on a clothing line that would embrace women of all sizes.
Gabi Gregg started blogging in 2008 after college. If you’ve ever wondered where the word fatkini came from, it came from Gabi Gregg. Gabi Gregg used the word in one of her Instagram posts in 2011. People are now using the hashtag to post selfies of themselves in bikinis. Her blog Gabifresh is where she posts a mix of fashion and lifestyle advice. She now has her own swimwear line.
Aimee Cheshire was previously a model and fashion blogger who decided to launch her own digital plus size boutique. She first named her company Madison Plus Select, but she then rebranded as Hey Gorgeous. Hey Gorgeous was an e-commerce website that carried sizes eight through 24. Hey Gorgeous sold mainstream fashion brands as well as plus size ones.
Plus Size Models as the Face of Clothing Campaigns
Plus size models are quickly becoming the face of clothing campaigns. Ashley Graham is just one of those models. Back in 2016, Ashley Graham became the face of H&M’s clothing campaign for their H&M Studio Fall 2016.
Ashley Graham was the plus size model for the Fall 2016 collection of the brand’s higher-end label, H&M Studio. The collection of clothing influences are on folkloric romance, female power and femininity.
Two weeks after Barbie Ferreira took the internet by storm, size 14 model Iskra Lawrence would be announced as American Eagle’s spokesmodel. As the spokesmodel, Iskra Lawrence appeared at Aerie stores in college towns nationwide to speak about body positivity.
Barbie Ferreira was the model of American Eagle’s swimsuit collection in 2014. As part of the 2014 Aerie lingerie campaign, American Eagle announced that they wouldn’t use Photoshop to retouch Barbie Ferreira’s images.
Clementine Desseaux was casted by Christian Louboutin as a plus size model in their new campaign in 2015. Clementine Desseaux is the first plus-size model to be the face of a Louboutin campaign.
Plus Size Economy
Approximately 65 percent of American women fall into the plus size category, which is sizes 14 and up. Between May 2013 and April 2014, the plus size industry raked in $17.4 billion in sales. NPD found that the annual sales of women’s plus size clothing was up by 17 percent over the past three years. It raised to $20.4 billion in 2016.
Plus size bloggers have dramatically changed the industry in the last few years. They have made companies, models and consumers’ understand that not everyone is going to be the same size as everyone else. These bloggers have made it clear that we all need to embrace each other no matter what size we are. Plus size bloggers have constantly been sharing body positivity around the globe with their blogs.
If it wasn’t for plus size models and celebrities, the fashion industry may have not welcome plus size apparel. There are many stores who plan to expand to plus size apparel. Retailers still have a long way to go, though. Many retailers haven’t started selling plus size apparel yet. Retailers are missing out on a $9 billion dollar opportunity.
The average American woman is a size 14. Plus size women are constantly raising their concerns with retailers with most retailers ignoring them. Victoria’s Secret is just one retailer who is feeling the pressure to release plus size clothing and lingerie for women.