The Burgeoning Plus Size Fashion Industry Is So Much More Than Just A Trend

WHO WHAT WEAR: Now that you’ve officially added designer to your résumé, what have you learned in the process of designing pieces for women in double-digit sizing?

DANIELLE BROOKS: Well, two things. First of all, Universal Standard has taught me that the possibilities are limitless. You might think somebody who’s done all this stuff [in her career] can do anything, but sometimes you really can’t—you feel stuck, especially in an industry that doesn’t really care about what I put on my body. So Universal Standard has given me that, and that’s really a gift.

And secondly, I thought I knew (because I am double-digit size) about material. I thought I knew what felt right and what worked under the arms, and there was so much to learn in that way! It’s been a great collaboration because they’ve been so willing and graciously giving me information to know for however I plan on taking this further.

WWW: Tell me about the pieces. What weren’t you finding in these styles before? How did you make them the best possible for this customer?

DB:

These pieces you might think you’ve seen before, but what makes them different is you take the off-the-shoulder dress, and it's converted into a hooded-shoulder dress. And that’s new and something I’ve always wanted. You can wear that with a boot or a nice necklace or whatever. And the shirtdress, you could wear it with a belt, you could wear it with the bow tie, you could wear it with a fedora… I just threw on some jeans and called it a day!

ALEX WALDMAN: That’s actually something Danielle wanted when we sat down. She wanted pieces that you could play with, had different characters and personalities depending on how you wear them. And we wanted to make it really, really cozy and wonderful, so we used an Italian merino wool and cashmere, and made these beautiful saturated colors, which is another thing Danielle was very specific about. She had a particular palette, and she wanted it to look good on different skin tones.

WWW: So it’s about two years since Universal Standard launched. What have your customers been saying and asking for?

AW: We do get a lot of suggestions and requests. One of the things I felt was a little bit awkward about the preexisting plus-size brands is that they do tend to go to the consumer and say, “What do you want us to make?” By the time the consumer has that opinion and it gets back to the big brands, you’re constantly a year and a half behind. So we said, we are going to lead; we aren’t going to follow trends. We are going to create pieces that can stand on their own and are not dependent on any one specific trend so that you can walk into a room and people think you’re stylish rather than the dress you’re wearing is stylish. There’s a difference.

Source : http://www.whowhatwear.com/danielle-brooks-universal-standard-tria-collection

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