No Designers in a Curvy World
While I visited the ATL for Project Curve Appeal, I had the pleasure of meeting another like-minded Fashionista, Miss Chastity Garner of Garner Style. As a plus size personal shopper and stylist, I was drawn to her, as there are not many like us, and that she was looking fierce, donned in Jibri fashions!
Anywhoo, I had been in touch with her and have asked her to drop some pearls of wisdom and give the Curvy.Confident.Chic women and those who aspire to be, a little bit of who she is and guest blog!
Divas and Fashionistas, Miss Chastity Garner:
Have you ever seen a plus size Carrie Bradshaw? Think about itâ€¦probably not. Not that I am advocating for anyone to dress like Carrie Bradshaw, but I have come to realize that 98.9% of curvy girls are not trendsetters, partially because Carrie Bradshaw was born out of the countless designers (some famous and some not so famous) that were available to her at the drop of a hat. The curvy girl doesnâ€™t have such a luxury. To be innovative and fashion forward the curvy girl has to be extremely creative because the world of fashion does not lie at our feet. This leads me to examine the reasons that in a curvy world there are only a handful of exclusively curvy designers.
The reason that there are only a handful a innovative plus size designers are because from a marketing standpoint the fashion industryâ€™s research shows that all they have to do is wait the new trends to come out, wait about 6-8 months and then make it in plus size and make it cheaply. A lot of designers (even those that are plus size themselves) donâ€™t even waste their time making plus size clothes or innovative ones for that matter; because in essence their research shows that the plus-size community doesnâ€™t have the fashion sense to appreciate such garments.
When we actually get innovative and fashion forward pieces curvy girls donâ€™t support the designer or wait until the garment goes on sale. Then what happens is the designer may quit the industry altogether or start making straight size clothes (where they stand a fighting chance of surviving).
Blog after blog I hear women complaining about the lack options for the plus size woman. In the end the fashion industry, like any other business industry, is about making a large profit margin. The fashion industry studies profit trends and whoever isnâ€™t buying is whoever is being cut. I interact with plus size boutiques all over the U.S. and they tell me the same thing.
The straight size boutiques that have tried to carry plus size said that they could sell the garments unless they were on the clearance rack, so that cute little boutique that you would love to shop in wont offer you clothes because you wonâ€™t buy. Plus size women are obsessed with buying cheap. Forever 21 and Wet Seal are not for the fashionable adult woman…THESE STORES ARE FOR TEENAGES!
This subject seems to keep coming up as the economy has taken a turn for the worst and plus-size clothing are being cut from major department stores as well as small boutiques around the U.S. Support plus size clothing lines if you donâ€™t you will be reduced to shopping online or those few mainstream plus-size stores or say goodbye to originality, the curvy girl will be subjected to the plus size clothes of the past.
The more you keep supporting those cheap and â€œquality challengedâ€ clothing the more the plus size market will be saturated with these fashion-less pieces.
So, who Is Chastity Garner of Garner Style?
Academic by mind and fashionista by heart, I am originally from Brunswick, GA. During grad school, I started modeling in 2005 and that opened up a world of garments and pieces beyond my imagination. To me modeling was more about these beautiful artistic pieces than actually modeling. Wardrobe Styling has been a way for me to express myself creatively with a talent that was always innate. As Garner Style (www.garnerstyle.com) approaches its official year anniversary the company itself has defined its own existence. I started it with the notion of just offering wardrobe styling and image consulting to the curvy woman. The company itself has taken off and because of the demand we now offer fashion marketing and buying options for boutiques wanting help with buying and marketing plus size clothing.
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Keep it Curvy.Confident.Chic.