The sample size scourge has plagued the fashion industry since forever and it’s infamously part of the reason stars like Leslie Jones find it difficult to obtain outfits for red carpet events—designers are stubborn. Fashion blogger Liz Black called attention to this vast gap between sample size and real-world size in a recent photo shoot.
The photo collection for the site You Do You shows Black holding up various sample size designer clothing in front of her body. “I’ve worked in a lot of showrooms and have dealt with a lot of runway samples, and I have always marveled at the size difference between those teeny tiny samples and the size of my own body,” Black says in an interview with People.
“The message is to the fashion industry as a whole. I definitely feel that the industry has improved in terms of its inclusiveness, but this is one aspect that designers seem to be really not budging on—they still are using homogenous-sized models on the runway.”
Even though average women, models and celebrities continually address or complain about the proliferation of sample sizes, for the most part anyone who works in fashion has to reluctantly accept this standard—which largely operates under the assumption that smaller sizes are cheaper to manufacture and a necessary standardized measurement—rather than challenging it.
“I hope to see the fashion industry become more inclusive,” says Black. “It doesn’t mean that we have to lose that body type, and I’m not body shaming people who are naturally thin, but very often these models are being instructed to keep their bodies smaller than they would be naturally to fit into these sample sizes.”
She adds, “Representation is incredibly important, and it starts at this level, because mass marketers look to these high-end designers and what’s coming down the runway. With that trickle-down, it’s important for designers at that level to show inclusivity and representation.”
Photographs by Kristiina Wilson for You Do You