Approximately 85% of African women in general are plus-size but there’s a clear lack of industry representation for plus-size women, glancing through look-books, fashion portals, magazines etc the models who mostly represent such campaigns are either tall slim girls who cover only about 15% of the population thereby giving the majority of people who could have called the shots to find another alternative. A lot of women who wears clothing that ranges anywhere from a 14 to an 18, say they are lucky enough to still be able to go into most stores and find clothing that works for them. This gets us thinking why most designers limit themselves in terms of their reach and create a certain impression which is far fetched from the reality we all find ourselves. Recently we have seen Latasha Ngwube creating pieces for curvy men and women under the brand name About That Curvy Life and also Nigerian designer Wana Sambo collaborating with 3 prominent Nigerian plus-size women to create Wana Sambo Curvy Line which is an extension of the fashion line.
We are disappointed and reminded that for every brand that expands its size range, there are a million more that would rather put their efforts elsewhere. This seems to be especially true for eco-friendly or sustainable brands. The new crave for going Eco-friendly in the last couple of years has really caught up with a lot of designers thereby leaving out core areas of the industry to satisfy, lets not also forget that its the people who actually would buy your outfits so when you put in all your energy in creating a conducive environment by churning out sustainable designs and your core target audience don’t find a thing or two to fit in, then we are sorry you are loosing out on all sides of the coin.
Sustainability is a darling word now in the industry, African designers are more resourceful when using fabric. They’re careful to minimize waste. Made-to-order is more common and the African fashion market is not as seasonal as the mainstream Western market. So we are wondering if this is so why is there little or no attention to the majority of people who actually are the end users of the weeks or even months of hard-work, the majority of sustainable products available in the Africa are between sizes 0 and 8. This is true despite the fact that not all women in Africa fall under this category of body size so why the crave for doing only eco-friendly fashion and ignoring a very important section, note we are not by any means insinuating that going sustainable is in any way bad we are only drawing the attention of designers that they are also neglecting a cross section of consumers who are left out in the fashion chain. If Rihanna can inculcate plus size into her new Fenty Vol.2 Collection then i don’t see why we cant do same.