Remember Emme? She’s the gorgeous, outspoken, smart and savvy model who broke barriers by becoming the first-ever full-figured model category to land a major contract with cosmetics company in the ’90s. The contract was with Revlon, if you recall.
Well, she’s is back—and hallelujah for that. She was interviewed by WWD about the plus-sized fashion category and a new projects she’s working on. But first, hear what she has to say about which designers cater best to the plus-size market. And they are: drumroll please…
Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren and—wait for it—Jessica Simpson!
“There’s a contemporary market and a young junior market that’s very big and not being addressed outside of mass. There are designers paying attention to it, [but] they’re just not the ones we see on a regular basis in the magazines,” Emme told WWD. “They’re not yet being funded fully or in department stores or opening their own stores. Designers that are in place and in the fold in the fashion industry—outside of Michael Michael Kors, which has expanded its business to plus size and is doing very well in that—[include] Lauren Ralph Lauren, who’s doing well. Jessica Simpson is not a designer, but she’s expanded into plus-size juniors and is doing very well at Macy’s. Calvin Klein is killing it —these are their better lines. I’m doing appearances with Macy’s this fall, and they have beautiful things you wouldn’t have seen 10 to 15 years ago.”
Emme also rattled off some stats that really hit home: “Some 68 percent of the U.S. female population is size 12 and above. (about 108 million women). If you take 10 percent of that, it’s a pretty big market share,” she said. ” It’s very much what women sizes zero to 12 have, with some adjustments—with armholes—not just sizing up but taking this customer and being a bit more body-conscious, not just boxy.”
In order to boost attention and designer love for more than half the country’s women that wear sizes larger than 12, (a $17.6 billion market in the U.S. alone, by the by), Emme is partnering with Syracuse University to debut a fashion design competition called “Fashion Without Limits”. In the competition, the university’s students will compete to create designs for full-figured women that are chic, elegant and flat-out-awesome. In addition to a $500 award, Emme will don the winning look on the red carpet.
Style isn’t defined by size or shape and I’m thrilled to see that Emme is shouting that maxim from the rooftops. Go Emme!