The Booming Market for Plus-Size Fashion

Plus-size fashionistas rejoice. There’s a growing boom in the fashion industry for plus-sized clothing and designs.

For years, trendy retailers and designers have ignored the plus-size market, leaving bigger women to shop at expensive specialty stores or to resign themselves to wearing frumpy, dowdy clothing.

Now, however, high-profile designers like Christian Siriano are creating fun, fashionable items for women of all sizes. Siriano, who won the fourth season of “Project Runway,” recently collaborated on a line of clothing with retailer Lane Bryant, which focuses on women who are sizes 14 and up.

Other retailers, such as Igigi, Eloquii and Kiyonna have spent years conquering the online market for cute plus-sized clothing.

Several big retailers are joining in. In 2015, Target launched its own line of trendy plus-size clothing with Ava & Viv. In department stores, shoppers can now find plus-size offerings from the likes of Anne Klein, Donna Karan, Oscar de la Renta and Tommy Hilfiger.

Why the sudden rush to tap into this previously ignored market? Money, of course. The size of the average woman in the United States is now a 12, with half of all women over 20 a size 12 or up. Many of these women are younger professionals who want the same fashion choices as their thinner compatriots. That hunger has created a clothing industry worth $17 billion — and growing — in yearly sales.

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