In Thursday’s Washington Post, Tim Gunn (design educator, author, Project Runway co-host, tFS guest editor and newly-anointed mic dropper) penned an essay entitled, “Designers refuse to make clothes to fit American women. It’s a disgrace.” As you may have gleaned from the title, Gunn’s candid, acerbic observations on the fashion industry’s mishandling of the plus-size consumer are the best thing you’ll read all week.
Framed in the context of New York Fashion Week, wherein plus-size models rarely grace the runways, Gunn called out the many “baffling” ways in which the American fashion industry has turned its back on the country’s 100 million plus-size women.
Gunn’s thesis is the following: the average American woman, who wears between a size 16 and a size 18, suffers from a lack of options when it comes to dressing. For this, he unequivocally blames the designers: “Many designers — dripping with disdain, lacking imagination or simply too cowardly to take a risk — still refuse to make clothes for them.”
Gunn even offered a few appalling, unapologetic quotes from his colleagues. “I’ve spoken to many designers and merchandisers about this. The overwhelming response is, ‘I’m not interested in her.’ Why? ‘I don’t want her wearing my clothes.’ Why? ‘She won’t look the way that I want her to look.’ They say the plus-size woman is complicated, different and difficult, that no two size 16s are alike.” (more…)