US Designer Who Tripled His Business Working With Plus Size Models Is Our Hero
Because everyone wants to look like an A lister regardless of size, right?
“You want to look cute in a dress and you're a size 26? Why not?!"
So says our new hero Christian Siriano, the American fashion designer who has made us love him and his designs even more than we did already with his wonderful attitude to dressing plus size women.
Speaking at an event for the Council of Fashion Designers of America the one-time (and frankly our favourite) winner of Project Runway talked about his personal mission and how his love for every single kind of woman has proven to be great for his brand. Yes, you see it turns out, dressing plus-size women has tripled—yep, tripled—his business.
"Adding plus sizes to my line tripled my business. Why wouldn’t you do that?! Do we not want to triple the business? Do we not think these women should wear our clothes? Do we not want these women to have beautiful things because we’re afraid they’re not beautiful? What is going on here?,” the designer said (and oh, how we cheered!) as he spoke at the event.
Siriano has been an advocate for dressing plus-sized women in his designer threads for some time. "We've always had customers of different sizes since day one," he says. "At the beginning of my career, I was doing things that other people would accept more, but as I went on, I was over it," he continued. "It was very frustrating to hear a woman say to us, 'you don't have my size or you don't have something that I can wear.'"
He's featured plus-size models in his fashion shows, designed a gorgeous wedding gown for a plus-size blogger, and made an incredible dress for Leslie Jones' Ghostbusters premiere when other designers wouldn't. At this year’s Oscars 17 women wore his designs.
Another reason to love him? Instead of making plus-size garments but advertising himself with sample-size pieces, using skinny models, Siriano decided to put the work he was doing for all types of women on display -- by dressing plus-size women in the public eye. "We live in a visual world ... you have to put it in people's faces," he said.
Yes, he actually goes out of his way to make sure everyone SEES his bigger size work -- which is a joy to behold.
He has been very vocal on social media about dressing everyone from Whoopi Goldberg to Leslie Jones, and recruited famous plus-size models like Ashley Graham to walk in his shows. And he's not hiding them in dowdy dresses either -- he's totally making them stand out. It's so dang powerful, it makes us all wanna be Whoopi.
While he acknowledges that designing beyond sample sizes involves different considerations, he also adds that his brand never charges more for larger-sized designs, which is another cool thing when you think about fabric costs and factor that in to a pricey designer offering.
Clothes made in the plus-sizes now make up roughly 50 percent of Siriano's collection and have helped to nearly triple his business. "The whole point of being a designer is making people feel good," Siriano said. "We're not here to cure cancer; we're here to make people look cute in a dress."
I love that some of the highest-selling volume of sizes is over a size 10; that's really cool to see."
"Obviously, we've been dressing women of shape since day one," he adds. "Some of my early red carpet moments were Whoopi and Oprah, and we were always getting requests for all these different types of people, so that is awesome that now people are noticing that we want to champion that."
Indeed it is -- very awesome.
Feature Image: Getty