“Make It Work!” Tim Gunn Wants Better Plus Size Fashion


Really? It took a man to actually say it out loud to the fashion industry? Well Bravo Tim Gunn for speaking up for the millions of women and men around the world who have been waiting for the day the clothes they buy and wear and Vogue September Issue-worthy!

He spoke to Huffington Post Style about the problem with fashion, saying how ridiculous it is that if you are a real woman shopping in the real world, “fashion seems to end when you get any larger than a size 12.”

Along with his work as a judge and mentor on Project Runway, Gunn tries to use his influence to open the minds of designers to life beyond the runway. In other words, designing for the every day customer which is by far a bigger market that just the fashion elite.

“I’ve had my own moments in front of designers when I’ve actually said, ‘You know, there’s a market here for expanding your work, and here it is,'” Gunn told us. “And frankly, there are two markets: The women who are larger than the 12, and then there are women who are petite. And most designers that I talk to have absolutely no interest in addressing either of those populations, which I find repugnant.”

We have this image of a church choir singing “Hallelujah!” at the top of their lungs upon hearing this statement. If there is such an appalling amount of bad petite or plus size, should we say, normal sized fashion out there in the world, then why on earth aren’t there more top notch designers getting involved in a burgeoning market where the customers have money to spend?

For some reason there is an unspoken thought pattern that larger sized people aren’t into fashion, which couldn’t be more further from the truth. When department stores and boutiques fail to offer a diverse range of sizes and styles, shoppers go online, but even there the designs are still lacking the same level as you would see in the pages of Harpers Bazaar or Elle magazines.

“It’s not a matter of sizing up or sizing down from a size six,” he said, “It’s a matter of reconceiving things altogether. There are just some things that you can’t or shouldn’t do [design-wise].”

He even went as far as to say going in-store shopping is enough to make him want to kill himself sometimes!

“Go to Lord & Taylor on Fifth Avenue, I think it’s the eighth floor, and it’s just a department called ‘Woman.’ It’s rather devastating. You’ve never seen such hideous clothes in your entire life. I mean, it’s simply appalling. Thank God there are no windows on that floor, because if I were a size 18, I’d throw myself right out the window [after seeing those clothes]. It’s insulting what these designers do to these women.”

Let’s hope his passionate words will sink in deep to designers everywhere. However, Gunn goes on to say the problem doesn’t just end with the clothes, but what is portrayed on the Runways around the world also make a statement. He says it’s appalling that more real women aren’t represented on the catwalk.

“I mean, there are so many models walking the runway who haven’t even gone through puberty, and this is not real world.” He mentions Andre Pejic, the male model who became famous for breaking gender boundaries and getting work in female campaigns and runway shows.

“The designers love him because he doesn’t have any hips,” Gunn lamented, “and women aren’t going to look like that.”

Once again, the choir is singing…

For all you designers out there looking to make a difference and stand out from the crowd, take a note from maestro Gunn, expand your horizons in fashion, and Make it Work!

Tim Gunn



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