I recently had a chat with Lauren Sherman, the Executive Editor at Fashionista.com, about models and plus-size fashion and petite fashion:
Isobella Jade: What fashion advertising campaigns are you loving right now?
Lauren Sherman: Chloe, Mulberry, Prada, Miu Miu
IJ: There is more to modeling than fashion, and most working models are actually not giraffe tall, they are all ages and sizes and ethnicities, and work as print models and are seen in non-fashion and life-style product campaigns nationally and around the globe. However, despite the few shorter celebrities in fashion campaigns, do you think fashion will ever welcome the shorter model one day? Do you think the consumer/fashionista wants to see a giraffe tall model, and loves that fantasy of length and proportions, or do you think the consumer would still buy and admire that dress, that handbag, that skirt if a shorter model was modeling it?
LS: I think there's a reason tall models walk the runway--it's because they fit the sample size without any alterations. As for campaign work--it doesn't matter your height. Kate Moss is only 5'7", Hannah Holman is only 5'7", there's a new model, Charlotte Free, who is quite tiny. I think the runway will always be dominated by tall models, but for campaigns and editorials, anything goes.
IJ: There is a lot of talk in the media about “plus size”, mainly about plus-size models. There is a great site called http://www.curvyrevolution.com/, that shares that “More than 60% of American women and teens are size 12 and above” but I am not so sure that the plus-size girl really has begun to have more choices realistically when she shops; do you think retailers really are going to start bringing more plus sizes into their retail stores? Have you seen any retail brands recently make the jump to include plus sizes?
LS: Truthfully? Not any time soon. The big problem is that sizes over 12 or 14 don't sell well at retailers that aren't known for carrying plus size. However, I think the good news is that the web is a place where it's easier to sell plus size clothes. A retailer like the Gap or J.Crew can make enough size 16s to sell online. I think that plus size women need to be even more vocal about what they want from brands. And there is some hope: Saks just added a designer plus size department to its New York City flagship--plus size items from Chanel and more will be available there.
IJ: Retail stores like TopShop are starting to include a “petite section” within their stores, and this area includes a limited amount of styles that are fitted in the arm length and pant length for a petite (under 5’5” girl); have you noticed more “petite sizes” available when you are shopping?
LS: Even for someone who is quite tall--I'm 5'8"--most jeans are too long on me! I think you'll find that denim has made the most strides in this area. J.Crew also sells petites. I think all women--petite or not--should rely on a good tailor. They can make anything fit perfectly.
IJ: Do you think “petite catered fashion” will become more available in retail stores within the next five years?
LS: Much like plus size, it's hard for retailers to produce a ton of petite products because they don't sell as well as straight sizes. But if the demand is voiced, it may happen.
IJ: What brands would you suggest that a petite girl check out?
LS: Paige and J.Brand both do petite sizes. So does J.Crew, Topshop, Calvin Klein, Not Your Daughters Jeans.
IJ: What trends this Spring and Fall do you think are flattering on petite girls?
LS: I think that anyone can pull off any trend they like--as long as everything is in proportion. If you're going to go for the high-waisted flare jeans, make sure to have them hemmed properly and to wear shoes that elongate your legs. You can even wear long dresses--just make sure you don't drown in it.
IJ: I agree. So, what are 5 go-to items that you suggest that every girl have in her closet no matter her size?
LS: trench coat
silk button down shirt
a great pair of crazy shoes
a black skirt
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