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Plus-size clothing isn’t only a problem for red carpet-walking celebrities. Regular retailers aren’t exactly jumping to stock clothes in bigger sizes, says designer Prabal Gurung. That’s why he’s doing a plus-size collab with Lane Bryant.
“He can’t get buyers in department stores to buy his large sizes so he wants to work with us,” Linda Heasley, CEO of Lane Bryant, told Women’s Wear Daily.
Lane Bryant announced today that its line with Gurung will be its fifth designer collaboration, the most recent being this spring’s collection with Christian Siriano.
Gurung, who will produce two seasons for Lane Bryant starting in March 2017, was honest about why he wanted to work with the plus-size retailer: He wants his clothing that goes beyond “straight sizes” to actually get in stores.
“When the buyers come, they are buying to what they think they need,” he told WWD, which often doesn’t include all sizes. Gurung says he cuts his ready-to-wear collections up to size 22.
The lack of interest in plus-size clothing by buyers is damning, considering the conversation around plus sizes often centers on designers. Many fashion designers and brands have been accused of not taking curvier women into account; but it’s not just the designers who have influence. Stores, via their buyers, must then put those clothes on shelves (and not just online), making them accessible to the women who need them.
In the meantime, specialty retailers like Lane Bryant pick up the slack. Gurung’s first collection will land in March in 180 Lane Bryant stores and online, and prices will range from $48 for a T-shirt to $398 for a leather jacket.