Are Plus-Sized Women All the Rage in High Fashion?
While the average American woman is five-foot-four, weighs 164 pounds and wears a size 14 to 16, you'd never know it by looking at magazine covers or shopping in many clothing stores. But that seems to be changing.
The ultra-chic magazine Vogue recently featured size-16 singer Adele as its March cover girl, and the market for plus-size fashion is booming. Voluptuous stars like Queen Latifiah and 'Bridesmaids' actress Melissa McCarthy have even launched their own clothing lines.
In addition, a new chain of stores called Fashion to Figure, described as the "H&M or Forever 21 of plus-size fashion," offers stylish clothes in sizes 12 to 26 at affordable prices.
CEO and founder Michael Kaplan (whose great-grandmother was Lane Bryant, namesake of the plus-size clothing empire with 850 stores and over $1 billion in annual revenue) brushes off critics who say such shops celebrate being overweight.
"We're not in the business of labeling people," he said. "We are trying to make people feel confident. Everybody needs great fashion. It's a mind set. And we're there for you, you know, no matter what size you are."