While the fashion industry painfully moves slowly towards embracing and representing the diversity needs of women and others pull out their plus sizes from New York stores like H&M, a woman like Rawan Ghawi, former head of Forver 21's plus size division who has also previously held positions at Abercrombie and Fitch and Wet Seal is jumping into the opportunity of it.
Here's a food for thought, according to Bloomberg, in the last three years plus size women clothing has outpaced the total sales of women clothing. Opportunity? Yes. Is it working for all retailers? No. One of the problems is limited style options. This is one of the issues Rawan who has been an advisor in the plus size market and an advocate for women in this area of fashion is trying to solve. She states that although retailers are indeed expanding to plus size, there isn't yet the right combination of on-trend style, fit and construction quality. This has prompted her to launch her own brand, RWN by Rawan.
The brand who launched on May 15th caters to women sizes 10-32 and features a range of styles; demin jackets, shirts, dresses, and boho tops just in time for Summer. All pieces are retailing under $100. The collection can be found mainly on site but also selected pieces are available through styling subscription services like Dia & Co and Stitch Fix Plus. Rawan's aim is to take everything that is missing in the plus size market and put it into one line. This is pretty promising. So, yes! yes! and yes! to finding solutions to the lack of style options, specially fit(hope to say goodbye to the booty gap), and construction quality. These definitely have been some of the struggles in terms of plus size dressing not to mention keeping the price point sane.
Now, on one end all this is great, but this still sort of keeps a group of women in a corner and leaves us with the bigger picture problem--the other sides of the fashion industry being close-minded to addressing all women needs in one section. It's also understandable that we have to keep it moving and can't wait for others to wake up. So all in all, we hope that giant retailers learn from the experience of this brand and the like of others who have been catering to the plus size market and adapt not only the same styles found in smaller sizes to plus size, better fit, but also adapt to the growing market of plus size. We shall see. The next step is to put these garments to the test and see if it resolves the promised issues. So, in the meantime time, if you do try out RWN by Rawan, tag us on Instagram and tell us what you think.
Written by Mariana Aguilera