Well, well, well—I guess Target wasn't totally full of shit when they pinkie-promised that sharp new plus-size clothing was coming. Will wonders never cease?
Women's Wear Daily reports that the company is launching Ava & Viv, its first new clothing brand since 2008. It's totally dedicated to the plus market, with sizes ranging from 14 to 26 and X to 4X. Even better, it sounds like they're actually giving their customers a little credit this time around. "This guest is really a fashion-forward woman who happens to be a plus size," said merchandising SVP Stacia Andersen, adding:
"She wants something happy, fun and bright and made just for her. She wants the same thing found on the ready-to-wear pad. When we put out pieces that stand out a little more, items that are more chic, more trend-driven and more statement in nature, they tended to perform."
Target says there'll be new stuff every month, including "stylish basics along with trend-driven statement pieces," costing $10 to $79.99. (Which is key—Old Navy and Forever 21 just aren't getting the job done at that price point.) Clothing will debut online February 22, and it'll trickle into actual, real brick-and-mortar stores between mid February and March. (You can practically hear the plea for forgiveness for the Lilly Pulitzer slight.)
In a really, really smart move, they've enlisted a trio of bloggers with major pull among plus-size customers to help launch the line. Gabi Gregg, Nicolette Mason and Chastity Garner appear front and center, sporting new Ava & Viv looks, in Target's official announcement. Personally, I don't trust much of anything coming out of, well, any corporate PR department, and Target doesn't have the best rep with plus-size women right now. But I do trust Gregg, Garner and Mason—and that's the case for many other shoppers size 12 and up. It's also noteworthy that last summer, Garner spearheaded a boycott of Target over their dismal plus-size offerings. Clearly, the company is hoping for a fresh start.
Of course, I've got a strict wait-and-see policy when it comes to anything new in this particular category. We've been burned so many times, by companies that launch plus-size lines without sufficient marketing support before finally collapsing in a sad, dusty pile of unflattering, fashion-backward polyester looks. But I see several things in that behind-the-scenes video that look worth a trip to the dressing room, and God knows that's a start.
Photo via Target.