Indie Plus Size Designers, the Next Endangered Species?

I love shopping. No big surprise there, right? I’m going to go ahead and guess you probably do, too. Our love of fashion and style and the bits and baubles that go with it binds us together. It’s what our little corner of the Plus Size Community is founded on. That said, where we choose to spend our money purchasing these divine garments and accessories has power. Someone smarter than me once said “every dollar you spend casts a vote about the world you want to live in”.

Please dont stop reading now for fear of a political rant!!

 I am not going to waste your time railing against the evils of the big bad companies manufacturing all their goods overseas (or even here in LA) sweatshops. We all know about them. I, for one, do my best to not patronize them; and I also can not claim to never patronize them. Times are tough, I know.  Recently I was on the hunt for a new pair of jeans. I went everywhere looking, dressing and undressing, gasping at price tags and sighing at poor fit quality. In the end, I bought a fab pair of jeans from Forever 21 for a modest $14.80. What can I say, the fit was great and the price was right!

 That said, I want to talk about the other places to shop. I want to talk about the talented, passionate and all too frequently struggling designers out there. I want to talk about why we need to send our hard earned dollars their way before the Indie Plus Size Designer’s become a thing of the past. If we are Facebook friends, you have probably seen me posting about CULT of California and the current Kickstarter campaign. If you haven’t heard of CULT, go here to see my review from their fashion show at POSH LA. This is a line we need in our lives, a line worth helping, a line worth talking about! Not only is designer Jen Wilder crazy talented, but she’s a good person. The line is 100% Made in the USA and that is something I am wildly supportive for. While so many of us (bloggers and supporters) have professed our love and desire for her clothes, it seems her backers didn’t see the sales they’d wanted, leaving her with a conundrum. Ever the fighter, CULT’s Kickstarter campaign was launched. It got me thinking. Why do people think we don’t have shopping power?

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wildestwilder/cult-of-california-swim-launch-and-party

So, I did some research. According to Apparel.edgl.com the plus size slice of the apparel pie generated $7.5 BILLION dollars in 2012. After shelling out those billions and billions of dollars, 62% of us were still openly disappointed with the fit and quality of the garments we bought. That’s roughly $4,650,000,000 spent on clothing we DIDN’T EVEN LIKE!!!! I’m willing to bet my slice of pie that’s due to so many “straight” size retailers trying to get a piece of the action by scaling up their designs and offering them to us (H&M, Forever 21, even Eloquii by Limited). As I said before, sometimes the fit is right and so’s the price. I get it. However, I have a proposition for us.

We are smart, opinionated and fashion savvy. Rather than railing against Target for their “manatee” mistake or getting all uppity about a store that doesn’t even want us as customers saying something offensive let’s put our collective spotlight and support (I’m talking shopping dollars here, ladies) on the fierce, wonderful and wildly diverse Indie Designers who already love us! They know our bodies, many of them are one of us too! Here are just a few of my favorites.

http://www.cultofca.com/
CULT of California
http://www.jibrionline.com/
Jibri        
http://www.swakdesigns.com/plus-size/s-12-plus-size-new-arrivals.aspx
S.W.A.K.  
http://www.stefaniebezaire.com/
Stefanie Bezaire
http://www.dominodollhouse.com/index.php
Domino Dollhouse

There so many more, I know. Please tell me who your personal favorite indie designers are and let’s spread the word about them! We are a community and these women are the ones pouring their creative energy and passion into making sure we look fab! Let’s support them. Let’s put our money where our mouths are and make a difference!!

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