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“Honestly, I’m just very bored with the plus-size market,” says GabiFresh blogger Gabi Gregg. “There are a few retailers doing really well, but we shouldn’t have just a few retailers — that’s not fair! We should have multiple places to shop that offer fashion-forward options.”
It’s this dissatisfaction with the current retail landscape that inspired Gregg and her friend and fellow influencer Nicolette Mason to team up and create a clothing line of their very own: Premme, which launches online tomorrow. While Gregg and Mason aren’t new to fashion design — Gregg has a swimwear line with Swimsuits for All, and Mason has collaborated with ModCloth — this marks the first time the two have had complete creative control over a collection from start to finish. “We’ve always worked within the constraints of a bigger brand, or their perceptions of how a plus-size customer shops,” Mason explains. “We just know that there are other places that she wants her wardrobe to go! So we were like, ‘Let’s just do this ourselves.’”
Premme’s first collection contains 15 “un-basic basics” in sizes 12 to 30, ranging from a ’70s-style striped jumpsuit to an off-the-shoulder denim dress; cutouts and crop tops abound. “Premme is all about statement dressing,” Gregg says. “Even our little black dress has an oversized grommet and cutouts. We’re thinking about those details that’ll make you stand apart from the crowd, so you’re not wearing the same thing as everyone else. For me, that’s what was missing from the plus-size market.”
Mason and Gregg also welcomed the opportunity to fix common design flaws they’d noticed in other brands’ plus-size collections. A cropped graphic T-shirt features an asymmetrical hem that’s longer in the back “for bra coverage,” Mason says, while the snap fronts on two dresses are actually sewn in place, “so there’s no gaping, pulling, or accidental popping.” Both women agree that a pair of high-waisted, wide-leg lavender pants was the hardest piece to perfect. “We really invested a lot of time and energy into prototyping and sampling and doing many rounds of fit, because that’s so important to us,” Mason adds.
A couple other things that set Premme apart from the pack? Its price point (pieces range from $30 to $89) and its site photography. Rather than shooting looks on size-10 models, as many plus-size labels might, Gregg and Mason cast women sizes 16 and 26 alike.
“So much of plus-size dressing is about hiding yourself, making yourself invisible, trying to make your body look smaller so you take up less space,” Mason says. “That’s not what we’re about. We’re about making yourself very visible, having fun with fashion, having the agency to dress the way you want to and express yourself the way you want to. We all deserve to have options.”