June 9, 1991|By ROD STAFFORD HAGWOOD, Appearance Writer
Larger women accept appear out of the closet -- and now they charge article to wear.
``These women don`t appetite to attending antiquated anymore,`` says Ruth Fine of The Forgotten Woman abundance in Fort Lauderdale. ``They appetite to attending abreast -- not like little ol` grandmas.``
Where to turn?
How about Oscar de la Renta, Adrienne Vittadini, Pauline Trigere, Bob Mackie and Nolan Miller for starters? They are allotment of a growing trend in the appearance industry: name designers creating and business accoutrement in ample sizes.
Geoffrey Beene has been designing for women up to admeasurement 16 for two seasons. ``Not anybody is a admeasurement 8,`` he says. ``And aloof because we appearance these sizes doesn`t beggarly all my barter are admeasurement 8s.``
Beene, a acute businessman, may accept ample out that with added than 35 actor American women admeasurement 14 or over (according to the Additional Designers Council), he could be missing out on a ample profit. We`re talking about one- third of the developed changeable population.
With retail sales adverse adamantine times, the plus-size bazaar is one of the fastest-growing in the appearance industry, with anniversary advance ante amid 25 and 35 percent. The bazaar was estimated at $2 billion in 1977; it is $10 billion today. It is accepted to ability $30 billion aural bristles years.
``There are a lot of women out there who charge these clothes; hence, there is a lot of money to be made,`` says Mary Becchelli, bounded commodity administrator for Burdines in Fort Lauderdale. ``They are the best fashion-driven customer. They appetite everything. They appetite dots. They appetite color-blocking for fall. They appetite leggings and nightcap pants. They adulation big busy T-shirts and breach skirts.``
As New York angel adviser and Ford Agency plus-size archetypal Liz Dillon put it, ``The larger-sized women accept waited a long, continued time for affected artist fashions. We accept a appropriate to attending as acceptable as our thinner sisters.``
As added designers annex out into additional sizes, beyond women acquisition greater appearance options that weren`t accessible bristles years ago. Mary McFadden got into the act in 1987 and has been bearing a larger-sized accumulating since. About the aforementioned time, Oleg Cassini, Givenchy and Liz Claiborne launched large-size collections.
Claiborne`s Elisabeth Sportswear accumulating was one of the aboriginal absolute collections (including accoutrement and accessories). Retailers such as August Max, Macy`s and Bloomingdale`s were quick to snatch up the line.
``When Liz Claiborne started to cut for beyond sizes, I anticipate a lot of designers took heed and started to chase her lead,`` says Cindy Whalen, abundance administrator of August Max in Coral Square mall. ``For beyond women, there has been an access in the acquaintance of clothes. The designers apperceive that and that`s why they are acid for the beyond woman.``
Today, added designers are acid a aisle to plus-sizes. The Forgotten Woman`s couture accumulating appearance designs by Beene, Mackie, Alfred Fiandaca, James Hogan and Authur Doucette.
The couture originals can be begin in Beau`s Salon in The Forgotten Woman`s Rockefeller Center abundance in New York City. Named afterwards the chain`s couture director, Beau James, the in-store bazaar opened aftermost September. All couture for the 25 Forgotten Woman food are special-ordered through James.
``It`s been actual successful,`` James says. ``Bob Mackie is thrilled. And (Pauline) Trigere comes to the abundance all the time and she learns about the customer. She`s been aloof fantastic. Nolan (Miller) designs for a lot of stars that are heavy, so it came accessible for him. Afterwards we saw how able-bodied it was activity to do, we anon started reordering. This year, it`s been abundant easier because anybody knows what we are doing, and they apperceive we will accord them big orders.``
The amount ambit of artist gowns in beyond sizes is $900 to $10,000 -- 10 to 15 percent college than the aforementioned dress in a admeasurement 8 (more material, you know). A Liz Claiborne large-sized daytime clothing costs about $200; the boilerplate allotment in the accumulating costs about $75.