Although mainstream plus size fashion designers continue to make waves on the runway and in contemporary clothing stores, there are several who are still unheard of. This is shocking, especially when you consider that plus sizes make up 64% of the American population while only 18 percent of the fashion industry is considered plus sized. While designers and retailers like Lane Bryant, ASOS Curve, and Avenue continue to dominate the industry, there are quite a few new designers who are set to make waves.
Elena Miro was born out of Alba, Italy and originally within the Vestebene fashion house. Since its inception in 1985, Elena Miro has used its Mediterranean roots to design fashion that is inspirational and modern for the fuller figure woman. Continuing the trend of brining plus size fashion to the forefront of the industry, Elena Miro introduced its own design magazine by the same name, with half a million copies printed. The fashion house also made the exceptional decision to publicize the measurements of models used in their advertisements. In the early ‘90s, the first brick and mortar store was opened with franchises following soon after and in 2005, Elena Miro was shown for the first time during Milano Fashion Week, becoming one of the first Italian designers to walk plus sized models. Today, the line continues to flourish with its original plus sized line and over 200 sales outlets across the world.
Ply Apparel features clothing from size 14 – 24 and designs with an emphasis on strong lines and enhancing the curvy figure. Ply uses a black and white color palette in the majority of their designs so that each piece is stylish, modern, and professional, all while remaining feminine. Created by the husband and wife team of Pamela and Lamarr, Ply Apparel was first featured in Manik Magazine in February of 2014. Quickly, the brand gained steam and continues to do so while featuring career oriented and sophisticated designs. Ply Apparel is currently available via their online retailer, plyapparel.com, with ready to wear pieces priced moderately.
Recently, Rum + Coke, a designer who features clothing of all sizes, made the news for her choice to only include plus sized models in her print advertisements. New York based designer Courtney Smith, launched the brand in 2013 and focuses heavily on plus sized gowns. One of the bestsellers is a stunning design that features a low cut neckline and glimmering sequins. Most of her designs come from her own real-life friends and family and she uses social media to consistently interact and stay in touch with her customers.
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