May 7, 2021

The CurvyCon Founders on the State of the Plus-size Market

As the retail market limps toward progress, the CurvyCon founders CeCe Olisa and Chastity Garner have curated a successful annual event centered on the plus-size category.
This past September, “This is Us” actress Chrissy Metz delivered a keynote speech and activations included a runway show and panels led by Fern Mallis. Here, the cofounders examine the state of the curvy market.
WWD: In your opinion, what in the market is necessitating the focus on the plus-size market?
Chastity Garner: Retail is struggling. Brick-and-mortar locations of major retailers are closing. The offerings for straight-sized women are oversaturated. Plus-size women are the majority of the women in the U.S., but have the least clothing options. If you want to stay alive in the retail market, you have to sell more to current customers or find new ones. The plus-size woman is that new customer.
CeCe Olisa: Social media has been key to expanding the plus-size market. Until recently, any conversations about plus[-size] bodies or fashion was dictated by the media — it was shameful and lackluster. Now consumers are taking the reins. A plus woman who expresses herself through fashion can be interesting, aspirational and accessible, which can translate easily into sales.
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