- the study of human societies and cultures and their development.
- the study of human biological and physiological characteristics and their evolution.
- an American clothing retailer that currently operates over 200 stores worldwide
- a calculated risk taker
Two Fridays ago the Philadelphia-based clothing retailer Anthropologie did something that you’d never expect: It added a plus-size clothing line. The collection is now available online and in 10 of Anthropologie’s biggest stores. It arrived complete with a New York City launch party, the support of plus-sized influencers and has been making a splash all over the web. It actually mimicked a traditional launch, which is interesting because they didn’t make a big deal about it being a plus line! Normalization is good!
“I think that Anthropologie’s plus line hitting retail stores is great,” says fit model, Kristen Pickrell. “I just wonder if it’s too late. We’re finally getting clothes that fit us in stores while the world is going onine.”
And, why is that? 68% of American women are plus sized with very few clothing options in stores. Victoria’s Secret has publically made statements not supporting the plus universe and is closing 53 stores, this year. The numbers are there. We want plus clothing in stores.
We’ve spoken to bloggers and buyers who are really excited about the line hitting stores and web. They’ve noted that there some larger plus sizes in store (even extended plus). Lisa Schoenberger was trying on clothes all weekend, at the store. As an extended plus size (between 26 and 28, depending on brand), that’s not an easy task at most retailers. You can see her try-ons on her Instagram story, today (@mustangsallytwo)!
Is this the change we need? Plus-size shoppers have been complaining about being left out of fashion for ages, but with the advent of social media, their complaints have gained both specificity and momentum online.
“I’m excited about Anthropologie’s new line in a way that is, frankly, not journalistic,” says Amanda Mull of The Atlantic. “I’ve worn plus-size clothing my entire adult life, which means the overwhelming majority of fashion brands at any price level don’t make clothes that fit me.”
Brands’ responses to that pressure have been limited and fumbling, or in VS’s case, not at all. But it looks like Anthropologie might have done something that’s been genuinely rare so far: Get it mostly right, on a big and expensive scale. In an industry dedicated to keeping larger women at the margins, it feels like those women are finally starting to win.
A few things to take note of:
- The line is only ten stores, which does stink a little.
- The models online seem to be mostly your typical plus “Ashley Graham” shape: Size 16-20 ish, small waist, etc.
- I saw one Latina woman on their site, but she wasn’t modeling an outfit. A very Caucasian model set
But, some praise is an order:
- This isn’t a t-shirt line, it’s a full line
- Extended and plus sizes are very visible to order
- Plus sizes are well represented, in store
- There was no expected praise, this was business as Usual for Anthropologie
You can find the line, here:
Anthropologie is not a value brand store like Target or Wal-Mart, but it’s also not a Christian Siriano or 11 Honore. So, we’re excited to see it come to market with a mid-level price range and style worthy of plus and extended sizes. This is a great move and we think it’ll pay off.
“They’re clothes you wear to a party, or buy for a vacation you intend to Instagram heavily. They’re clothes for the type of people that plus-size women aren’t assumed to be.” – Amanda Mull, The Atlantic
Anthropologie’s parent company, URBN, which also owns Urban Outfitters and Free People definitely did their research. Putting them in great company with Universal Standard, 11 Honore, and other brands who are getting it right.