It's always reaffirming and really quite amazing when you can use your voice to elicit change and something actually happens.
I've been blogging about plus size fashion, the joys and struggles for almost 7 years and I've been a fat girl for more than 30.
So, you can say that I'm an expert at plus size consumer relations. I've been a neglected often ostracized fashion consumer my entire life.
But I've made due. I had too.
Making the best with what I've been given is the norm. Saying "I wish they made this I'm my size," is the norm.
I wish it wasn't.
I wish I could say that all my 10 year-old fat girl fashion problems were a thing of the past but it isn't.
Don't get me wrong, in the last 15 years, plus size fashion has made some amazing strides in offering high quality, stylish fashion and changing the culture.
We now have Eloquii dropping a new collection almost every week. There's the CurvyCon. We have dozens of fat women strutting around during NYFW! It's awesome but with anything there's always room for improvement.
Lately it seemed that many straight sized brands were catching on, albeit, very very late but hey, progress is progress.
The idea of size inclusivity, diversity, and visibility has been a pretty popular trend lately. For a while it seemed that every single brand I wished I could shop in high school and college were now debuting an extended range or plus sizes for the first time.
But as an expert of being a fat fashion consumer I can tell when it's the real deal or a brand is jumping on the trendy bandwagon and wants to appear as if they are truly about the cause.
Casein point is Atlantic-Pacific x Halogen Nordstrom collaboration. Before I delve in let me just preface that I'm a really big fan of Blair Eadie Bee. Her style is unmatched. She's the ultimate femme maxamist and all of her outfits are goals. She was literally one the first outfits I ever pinned on Pinterest!
She's the ultimate business woman and works really hard on her brand. So when she announced that she was launching her first clothing collaboration with Halogen (a brand that had already established offering extended sizes) I was beyond excited!
The collection featured her in the ultimate Blair outfit: a blush pink blouse with velvet bows and a pink tulle ruffled tiered skirt. Blair herself said these were some of her favorite pieces in the collection and it was one of the main outfits featured in her campaign. I couldn't wait to get my hands on it.
The collaboration had all the necessary elements: blush pink, a popular stylish influencer, a trusted big name brand and the claim of size inclusivity.
I stayed up to purchase the bow blouse and tulle skirt to only be disappointed. This outfit was basically the face of the campaign and it wouldn't be available in the extended range.
I felt bamboozled.
I felt like the campaign was capitalizing on the idea of being size inclusive but in reality wasn't offering the main pieces featured in campaign for everyone.
Once again there I was making due with what was offered to me. I was going to buy what I could from the collection that was in my size but had a change of heart.
That's not the shopping experience anyone should have regardless of their size. We should be thought of and not an after thought.
I wasn't going to but I expressed my feelings with a comment on Blair's IG posts about the campaign and too my surprise I wasn't the only one. Other bloggers and fans of hers that found themselves in my position – being excluded from a shopping experience because of size, shared their frustrations too.
The way Blair and the Halogen team responded was pretty amazing. They listened to us. They took what we said and put it into action right away. Instead of ignoring the complaints of what may seem like a small group of consumers they instituted change in the very next drop.
Atlantic Pacific x Halogen re-released the most popular piece from the first collection in dress form and included more sizes. Not only did it sell out within days but it re-tells the long told story that fat bodies love fashion and are willing to pay for it.
So kudos to Blair and Halogen for doing what most brand collaborations don't – listening to a neglected demographic and recognizing the body inclusivity and diversity isn't just a trend -- it represent the lives of so many.
Hopefully this isn't just a isolated incident and other brand collaborations will follow suit. I'm a fan of brands that genuinely champion for size inclusivity and diversity. Choosing where I spend my dollars makes a difference. The fat fashion consumer has more power than they might think.
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