With 16 billion in retail revenue, plus size women account for 67% of the apparel-purchasing population. There is no doubt that plus size women are redefining the way they influence retailers, push fashion commentary, and is redefining the language of fashion.
Tired of having to go through regular channels of communication and getting nowhere, the “thought leaders” in the plus-size fashion game are taking to the internet, leveraging the influence, size and interest of their built-in market, and in turn influencing designers and brands from the outside in. Essentially, the bloggers reward designers and retailers who cater to the plus size market and dismiss those who do not.
Margaret Bogenrief, Partner with ACM Partners said, “In short, plus size shoppers have managed to successfully run an end-around the (well, let’s just admit it) snobbishness and exclusivity of the traditional design community – one that still, despite all financial and fashion evidence to the contrary, snubs the majority of the clothes buying population and empowered itself through the power blogger and, frankly, grapevine inherent in fashion gossip.”
Sometimes, you need to go around the mainstream channels of communication to get to where you need to go and be heard…
Bogenrief adds, “So what’s to be learned from this plus size social media revolution? Certainly, and perhaps most importantly, there’s more than one way to work within and revolutionize an industry. Instead of trying to traditionally “convince” retailers the plus-size market and consumer should be front and center, these bloggers and their followers have created an ecosystem that operates outside the traditional media and advertising platform – and in doing so, have “spread the word” about where and how and when to frequent retailers that work successfully with the plus size customer. It’s social advertising at its best.”
This is how things get done! Maybe the designers and retailers will listen?