This is what got us talking about shape and size in the fashion industry in 2015.
Ashley Graham models her Addition Elle collection. Photo: Addition Elle
The fashion industry still glorifies thin, young, white female bodies. You know that, I know that and a young girl flipping through a magazine knows that. But in 2015, the mainstream conversation about body positivity changed in actionable ways that further opened the door for the acceptance and glorification of different kinds of beauty.
Body shaming isn't just aimed at those bigger than a size 6, of course. In an era when anyone can say anything in an Instagram comment, no one is safe from vitriolic comments about their physical appearance — just ask Gigi Hadid.
In addition to runways and campaigns, major strides were made in the expanding plus-size apparel industry, which many argue can better attract shoppers by not marginalizing them in a separate category, and which mass retailers such as Target are starting to recognize deserves more attention on the sales floor.
And while fashion has come to accept prominent transgender people like Caitlin Jenner, Andreja Pejic and Hari Nef this year, in this article we're going to focus on the timeworn issue of different body shapes. There's still a long way to go, certainly, especially considering that the most successful women representing plus-size fashion are white and young. But from the modeling to media to retailers, let's take a look back at the high and low points that got us talking in 2015 — in chronological order below.
TARGET ANGERED PLUS-SIZE SHOPPERS
After initial excitement that Target's Lilly Pulitzer collection wouldn't stop at size 16 like its past collaborations, shoppers were vocally disappointed that plus sizes would only be available online. The collection sold out almost instantly online in April, proving it would make business sense to carry those sizes in store in the future.
. . .BUT THEN IT LAUNCHED ITS FIRST PLUS SIZE LINE, AVA & VIV
In the midst of Lily Pulitzer plus size controversy, Target was already working on its first dedicated plus-size line called Ava & Viv, which debuted in stores and online in February. The retailer even enlisted the help of three influential plus-size bloggers —Nicolette Mason, Gabi Gregg and Chastity Garner — to consult on the fall line and to model the first spring lookbook. And, in July, WWD reported that Target became the exclusive carrier of Curvy Studio, a plus-size intimate apparel brand for young women — all under $30.