It’s a fairly well-established fact that clothing options for “plus-sized” women are not what they should be, despite the fact that the average American woman is a size 14. High fashion rental service Rent The Runway knows this, and is trying to do its part to change it.
According to Fashionista, Rent the Runway is now offering a bunch of fine duds in sizes up to 22, and taking a look at the offerings, they’re nothing to sneeze at. While many lines of plus-size clothing feature boring, sacklike garments, these dresses are super sexy, and many are designed to show off, rather than hide, a person’s body. Most importantly, the plus-size offerings are not separate from the regular ones; Rent The Runway CEO Jenn Hyman convinced initially reluctant brands like Carmen Marc Valvo, Badgley Mischka, and Theia to offer their regular clothes in larger sizes.
She elaborated on the decision at last night’s launch party:
She told last night’s group that she founded Rent the Runway so that every woman could have a “Cinderella moment”–and that up until today’s official launch, her mission has been “inauthentic.”
“Until now, we have only been able to follow through on this undertaking for virtually half of the female population,” she said in a statement released today. “We are so proud that our business has grown enough that we are finally able to make designer fashion not only accessible to, but also inclusive of, women of all shapes and sizes.”
Of course, it also makes sense from a business standpoint, as plenty of plus-size women would spend more money on clothes if there were better options for them, and it’s a market that has yet to be fully tapped by the notoriously fatphobic high fashion world. And it makes especial sense for rent the runway; as the business stakes its name on bringing expensive clothes to a wider (read: less wealthy) audience, they should want to be as inclusive as possible. It might not solve the problem overnight, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
Photo: Rent The Runway