Brands have finally discovered the market for plus size clothes, and started catering to this segment
A walk through Noida’s Mall of India is like witnessing a parade of the many apparel brands the country’s retail industry has to offer. Out of the many, ‘All’ from Future Group is one label that comes across as the one that offers plus size clothing.
One may think of unavailability of trendy and sturdy clothes in plus sizes a mere gap in one’s knowledge, but it has resulted in a greater loss, both emotional and economical. For the longest, larger people have remained a neglected segment in India, with rather monotonous clothing variants in the market for this group. India being the country that has the third largest population of ‘obese’ people, it was only recently that the fashion industry decided to do something about it.
The search for desirable clothes in plus sizes was a real struggle but now most fashion brands have their own special line that features clothing for the ‘big and tall.’ 2018 has seen a spectrum of clothing options for the big ones, from Narendra Kumar launching ‘Never Hyde’ at the prestigious Lakme Fashion Week to Sushil Modi, a plus size himself, coming up with his online venture xPlus Dernier Cri. Then there is a plus size clothing line by Myntra, out of the many online portals who are in the business already.
If we talk about plus size clothing, there are a few other parameters to be taken into account when it comes to its availability (or not) in a rapidly growing market like ours. We see many more editorials in fashion magazines and ramps full of plus size models than we did some five years ago. More retail brands are offering clothes that might fit the body and the fancy of those who wear plus size. But what has triggered this acceptance?
Before trendy styles were available in retail, popular DIY tutorials took the initiative to enable people with big shapes to create apparel for themselves. However, when plus-size fashion divas took to the internet, blogging their hearts out, some marketing guys at these fast fashion brands heard them loud and clear and launched plus-size lines under their brands. Those who felt left out now found their place in the sun, so much so that India alone is estimated to have a market share of about $5-6 billion by 2020, that is around 10-12% of the overall current online apparel market.
The segment that has seen growth in the last few months, credits the rise of e-commerce and dedicated fashion platforms that give people looking out for plus size clothing, a chance to easily buy, exchange and return as many pieces of clothing as they want. The access has helped more customers in this segment shop at online marketplaces primarily because of the availability of various sizes and convenience that it provides.
The understanding of growing popularity for this segment first came to the fashion brand Lifestyle that introduced Nexus, a plus-size clothing label some two years ago. According to its Senior Vice President (Marketing) Srinivasa Rao, plus size fashion is still under serviced in the country, in contrast to its immense potential. Nexus addresses the growing segment and offers contemporary fashion collection that are trendy, globally inspired and embodies its belief that real fashion is not limited by size.
Flipkart-owned Myntra’s latest announcement of their in-house plus size apparel brand named Sztori, is their idea to enable ‘fashion for all’. Sztori derives its name from the idea of developing a brand which is aiming to celebrate a person’s journey and spirit that has helped him or her go above shape and size.
While not many brands have launched an exclusive plus-size line, brands like Mustard and Pluss are a few independent examples available in the market for plus size clothing.
One of the widely organised fashion weeks, i.e. the Lakme Fashion Week, has been curating shows that had plus-size models walk the ramp. However, a recent revelation said that these plus-size models do not get paid like other models do. The incident describes well the bogus sensibility of body positivity and inclusivity that many designers and brands thrive on and use plus size models as mere objects to widen their reach.
Having said that, there are likes of XXL by fashion designer, Tina Vincent who designs exclusive wedding wear as well as casual outfits in plus sizes for those who want to make a statement with what they wear. Vincent, who designs for top politicians and celebrities, is of the belief that plus-size can be equally sexy.
Countries like US whose plus size market share is about $50 billion have in fact progressed towards creating no special features for big sizes. For years, retailers have treated women who wear plus sizes as an entirely different market, with special rules for clothing design and its marketing. Whereas Mary Alderete, the CMO of online women’s fashion retailer ModCloth has confirmed that their rainbow dress is available in all the extended sizes, and sells very well.
A few plus size brands available in the Indian market are Amydus, Lurap, ALL, Pluss, Lastinch, Faballey, Curve, Rute, Calae, Mustard and