Retail clothing giant wants to take SA fashion from exclusivity to inclusivity
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Johannesburg - South African women of all shapes should be catered for and accommodate at one single clothing store and the price range of garments should not solely depend on the sizes.
This was the sentiment behind The Foschini Group’s decision to merge their plus-size Donna range into a single offering.
Their “All Woman Fashion Range” will see the phasing out of the clothing retailer's plus-size brand as a stand-alone entity as it merges into Foschini's overall offerings.
This will mean plus-size women will now be able to shop at Foschini’s stores across the country, instead of the group’s previously separate Donna stores and that these stores will carry sizes ranging from 6/XS to 30/3XL or size 8 to 28.
As the clothing giant’s marketing manager Sheri-Lee Carver-Brown explained to The Saturday Star this week, their merger is all about “making a statement of our commitment to more fashion, more freedom and more equality,” this will also apply to the pricing of plus-size clothes.
“We have one price point for all sizes where other retailers charge more for plus sizes and the price range (on Donna items) is one single price across all sizes meaning that the extended sizes will be at least 20% cheaper than what we have ever been able to offer in the Donna clothing range.”
While Carver-Brown believes that this is a significant step in taking the South African fashion market from exclusivity to inclusivity, she insists that it was a long time coming and will hopefully see other retailers following in their example.
“This move will be well received because It’s time, time for a more integrated, inclusive, fashion experience.”
She said that South African women want an inclusive shopping experience where they can shop with all the women in their lives at one destination.
“This will be one clothing range which caters to all and we support this and believe in the beauty and diversity of each and every body.”
Carver-Brown believes that fashion inclusivity is not just a trend and that it will have its own voice in the decades to come.
“We aim to offer on-trend ranges that offer something for every body and we use the latest trends to source products for our customers across all shapes and sizes.”
While the company’s inclusive range is new to South Africa, there is a growing need for fashion to cater to all kinds of women.
This has prompted some of the world’s biggest designers and retailers to offer plus-size ranges in some of the most acclaimed fashion capitals in the world.
American luxury department store chain Nordstrom executed one of the most game-changing moves in the industry when they expanded their plus-size offerings in 2017. The mega-retailer tapped 100 brands to participate in all of its categories including denim, intimates, and activewear and around four years later, they have evolved as one of the biggest go-to outlets for plus-size clothing needs.
Khloe Kardashian’s Good American range also started as an inclusively sized denim brand back in 2016 but now offers everything from activewear to dresses for any occasion.
Plus-size fashion events have also skyrocketed in recent years with The Curvy Fest, National Curve Day and Full Figured Fashion Week all being commemorated.