Oh, Tim Gunn is so wise! From his times telling us to “make it work” to his inspiring It Gets Better video, Tim has always been so much more than just a fashion guru. The former chief creative officer for Liz Claiborne recently wrote candidly about how the fashion industry has systematically ignored plus-size women.
Tim wrote for The Washington Post,
“I love the American fashion industry, but it has a lot of problems, and one of them is the baffling way it has turned its back on plus-size women. It’s a puzzling conundrum. The average American woman now wears between a size 16 and a size 18, according to new research from Washington State University. There are 100 million plus-size women in America, and, for the past three years, they have increased their spending on clothes faster than their straight-size counterparts. There is money to be made here ($20.4 billion, up 17 percent from 2013). But many designers — dripping with disdain, lacking imagination or simply too cowardly to take a risk — still refuse to make clothes for them.”
Tim continues to explain that while he’s approached many designers about the topic, they continue to turn their noses up and tell him that women will not look the way they should in their clothes.
“This a design failure and not a customer issue. There is no reason larger women can’t look just as fabulous as all other women. The key is the harmonious balance of silhouette, proportion and fit, regardless of size or shape. Designs need to be reconceived, not just sized up; it’s a matter of adjusting proportions. The textile changes, every seam changes. Done right, our clothing can create an optical illusion that helps us look taller and slimmer. Done wrong, and we look worse than if we were naked.”
Truth! Why shouldn’t all women be able to dress how they want instead of being limited to only a few options?
We love that Tim is speaking so freely on this topic! He even goes so far as to exclaim that Project Runway, for which he’s been a show mentor since the beginning, has “not been a leader” on this issue. Ouch! But so true. Project Runway rarely has challenges in which they must dress curvy women and even when they do, that’s usually the so-called “challenge” in itself. That should just be apart of their regular routine!
He ends by initiating a challenge to all the designers out there: “Designers, make it work!”