via Apparel Magazine

Plus-Size Women Want These Four Brands to Design For Them

At the outset of New York Fashion Week, Dia&Co — a fast-growing startup dedicated to serving women sizes 14 and up — announced a bold effort to bridge the gap between major fashion designers and the 67 percent of women in the United States who wear plus-size clothing. Launched today, the #movefashionforward campaign aims to shift the ongoing conversation on size inclusivity from talk to action, by offering designers practical support based on the expertise Dia&Co has gained from its work with more than one million plus-size women since its launch in 2014.

“We founded Dia&Co because we believe in the power of style,” said Nadia Boujarwah, CEO and co-founder of Dia&Co. “We’ve seen firsthand that style can transform how we feel about ourselves, and it can serve as an expression of identity. All women deserve equal opportunity to express their style. At Dia&Co, we’re committed to partnering with industry leaders to break down any barriers that may prevent them from serving plus-size women exceptionally.”

Inspiration for the #movefashionforward campaign came from the results of a consumer survey Dia&Co undertook to better illustrate the relationship plus-size women have with fashion. Key findings included:

  • 72 percent said they do not believe that fashion designers create their designs with the average American woman in mind.
  • 78 percent would be willing to spend more money on clothing if more designers offered plus-size options.
  • The no. 1 designer that plus-size women wish would create clothing in their size is Kate Spade, followed by Tommy Hilfiger, Kenneth Cole, and Diane von Furstenberg.

Under the banner of #movefashionforward, Dia&Co has launched several initiatives:

  • Open challenge: In a full-page ad in The New York Times Thursday Styles section, Dia&Co issued a call directly to designers in town for Fashion Week.
  • Social campaign: Dia&Co has called upon its community to join the movement on social media by sharing their most coveted designers and asking them to #movefashionforward.
  • Event sponsorship: Dia&Co also announced today its 2017 title sponsorship of theCURVYcon, the premier event for plus-size brands, fashionistas, bloggers and influencers. The third annual event will be held in New York City during Fashion Week in September 2017. Dia&Co returns for its third consecutive year as a sponsor, but its first as title sponsor. This year, Dia&Co will host theCURVYcon’s first plus-size runway show — and the company is reserving a spot for the designers who accept its challenge.

“We’ve seen exciting moments of progress for plus-size women in recent years, but the most significant action is still ahead of us,” said Boujarwah. “It’s time to take bolder steps toward true inclusivity in fashion. We’re ready to do our part, and we hope this challenge will inspire more designers to celebrate all women.”

Beyond inclusion at theCURVYcon, Dia&Co will offer designers who accept the #movefashionforward challenge access to the expertise, proprietary technology, and distribution networks developed through its extensive work with plus-size women. To date, Dia&Co has served customers in all 50 states and in 75 percent of the country’s ZIP codes. Along the way, the company has improved its community’s access to stylish clothing by:

  • Improving the fit of plus-size apparel: Dia&Co has developed extensive proprietary fit technology, which it has already shared with 16 brands to help improve their garments.
  • Helping brands expand their size offerings: To promote true inclusivity, Dia&Co has worked with 18 brands to expand their offerings beyond a size 24 (the standard cutoff for many plus-size brands).
  • Launching new brands: To continue to expand the supply of quality styles available to its customers, Dia&Co has worked with industry-leading design experts to develop eight new dedicated plus-size brands, each running up to a size 32.

More key findings from the Dia&Co Designer Fashion Study:

  • 68 percent of plus-size women are interested in participating in fashion trends, but 67 percent said they don’t have as many fashionable clothing options as they’d like in their size.
  • 93 percent believe it’s important for fashion designers to create clothing lines that are size-inclusive, and 97 percent would think more positively of designers who included plus-size clothing in their lines.
  • 97 percent believe it’s important for fashion designers to include plus-size models in runway shows.
  • 80 percent would be likely to purchase an item from their favorite designer, if that designer began to offer plus-size clothing.

The no. 1 reason plus-size women believe designers don’t include larger sizes in their clothing lines is that they don’t fit the designer’s image.

The Dia&Co Designer Fashion Study was conducted by OnePoll in January 2017. It surveyed 1,500 American women aged 18 and up, who reported wearing sizes 14+ and also self-identified as plus-size.

SOURCE: Apparel Magazine