In August, Melissa McCarthy introduced Seven7, a clothing line aimed at providing fashionable looks for plus-sized women. She decided to introduce the line after many designers refused to make her a dress for the 2012 Oscars. McCarthy saw a real gap in the clothing market and seized on the opportunity to fill it.
Though Seven7 is marketed as a plus-sized line, the Home Shopping Network sells the brand in sizes 4 to 28. “I’m doing all sizes. It’s a strange thing to stop at a certain size. Women don’t, so why should clothes?” McCarthy said in 2014. Retailers Nordstrom and Macy’s, however, sell only the line’s plus sizes.
And it turns out that McCarthy was right, shoppers eagerly responded to her clothing line and the actresses proved to a blind industry that women, in fact, come in many sizes. Forbes reports that McCarthy’s brand, “has been a force pulling the $19.9 billion market for plus-size clothing in the U.S. into the mainstream.”
In response to McCarthy’s success, more designers and retailers will no offer plus-sized clothing. Next year, Rachel Roy will add a “curvy” line to her mid-priced Macy’s line and Rebel Wilson will launch a line targeted at teens. Online retailer Universal Standard will also expand their plus size offerings. “Some retailers are going to make a big deal of plus size in 2016,” a retail analyst told Forbes. Why plus-sized buyers, which constitute 65% of “female buyers” is a trend is an entirely different story.
But McCarthy isn’t quite finished with her fashion mission. Forbes reports:
“Retailers hide the clothes, sizes 14 and up, in the basements of their stores, far away from the rest of womenswear. The tops, pants, and dresses are big and boxy, typically concealing a woman’s shape. The message isn’t only about hiding your curves. It also says, as the actress Melissa McCarthy told fashion site Refinery29, ‘You’re not really worthy.’
In response, McCarthy is lobbying Nordstrom and Macy’s to carry Seven7’s full range of sizes and display them together.
Image via Getty.