Only Five NYFW Designers Make Clothing Larger Than Size 22
Last New York Fashion Week, we surveyed the size charts of every designer on the CFDA calendar. The results were expectedly disappointing, proving the extreme negligence of the fashion industry in addressing size inclusivity. This season, we checked those stats for changes using an updated roster of brands. What we found was a (small) step in the right direction.
NYFW Fall/Winter 2019 saw a 4 percent increase in designers who produce clothing for sizes 14 and above, the demographic encompassing 68 percent of American women. The number of designers capping off at size 12 dropped by the same 4 percent. Of the brands surveyed both last season and now, eight have increased their size range by at least one number since September.
Veronica Beard, Coach 1941, Self-Portrait and Noon by Noor have shown the greatest improvement, with the former moving their biggest size up from 16 to 20, and the latter three from size 10 to 14. Eckhaus Latta has jumped from a size 12 to 14, while Opening Ceremony and Ulla Johnson have gone from 10 to 12. Three designers newly introduced to the schedule — Lela Rose, Studio 189, and Victor Glemaud — have each raised the bar for Fashion Week mainstays by offering styles up to size 20. For a second season in a row, body-positive fashion hero Christian Siriano is at the top of the chart, serving utter looks up to a size 28, and he’s joined there this time by Chromat, which has made a concerted effort to make fashion size inclusive in the last year.
These may sound like wins for fashion and the size-inclusivity movement at large, but the fine print may speak otherwise. Some of last season’s most inclusive brands, Derek Lam (up to size 26), Vaquera (up to 24), Kith (up to 22), and Libertine (up to 20), were not present on the CFDA’s FW19 calendar. To make matters worse, in comparing last season’s data to this season’s, the size ranges of Proenza Schouler and Marina Moscone appear to have decreased from up to 12 then, to now maxing out at a 10.
What shoppers are likely to feel most acutely in stores, is that even those designers who have recently broadened their offerings tend to boast far fewer styles in the larger sizes — say, Veronica Beard’s single cardigan available in size 20, or Noon by Noor’s choice to make T-shirts the only products sold up to a 14. Call it a double-edged sword, call it subtle progress. Either way, fashion is moving at an obscenely slow pace in a world that’s changing by the second. Here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly truth of New York’s designers in 2019.
A few things about our survey.
- We only surveyed designers that could be found on the official CFDA calendar here.
- We only included women’s ready-to-wear brands (denim and men’s, for example, were excluded).
- We did not include designers that only create custom clothing or do not sell in retail (like The Blonds).
- Brands that answered us in European sizes were converted to US sizing using this chart.
- For brands that size XS-XXL, we used the following conversion: XS= 0, S=2/4, M=6/8, L=10/12, XL=14/16, XXL=18/20. This was based on the average of the designers’ conversion estimations.
- In the instance that a designer offers extended sizing per request but does not produce it across the majority of their products, we went with the size run they create all pieces in.
Here's how the size offerings break down by brand:
Up to Size 28
Up to Size 24
Up to Size 22
Up to Size 20
Up to Size 16
Chiara Boni la Petite Robe
Kate Spade New York
Oscar de la Renta
Up to Size 14
Cinq a Sept
Christopher John Rogers
Noon by Noor
Zero + Maria Cornejo
Up to Size 12
3.1 Phillip Lim
alice + olivia
Christopher John Rogers
Diane von Furstenberg
Zadig & Voltaire
Up to Size 10
Maryam Nassir Zadeh
Up to Size 8