Big Women Have Cash, Too

Fashion designers are finally viewing the epidemic of obesity as a market opportunity.

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The trend toward bigness has finally drawn the attention of fashion designers, who have concluded that there's money to be made in plus sizes.

Corseted into a size 18 white denim dress, wearing heels that made her about 6-foot-2, Gwen DeVoe, a former model and fashion-show producer, stepped onto a runway in Manhattan this week and made a pitch to retailers for the plus-size woman. Those stores that don’t carry bigger sizes? “Shame on you, baby, shame on you,” Ms. DeVoe said. “Every curvy girl that has a dollar is willing to spend that dollar.”
So retailers are realizing. That same day, a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 28 percent of the adult population was obese last year, the highest percentage yet. Almost two-thirds of American women are either overweight or obese, according to the most recent CDC figures. As doctors and public health officials encourage Americans to slim down, the fashion industry is embracing Americans as they are. Both mass-market stores like Forever 21 and Target and expensive designers like Elie Tahari are deciding the fattening of America is a big business opportunity, and are reinvigorating a market that had faltered during the recession.

Source: The New York Times. Read the entire story here.

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