This past summer alone, we've seen the plus-size industry take strides, with new affordable (and cute!) clothing, sexy swimsuits, and even an e-commerce site that specializes in designer runway collections with extended sizes. Finally, it seems that more designers and brands are paying attention to the 67% of women in America worth paying attention to — including Forever 21. On Tuesday, the retailer announced its new “size-inclusive” collection, 12x12 Denim, which offers three different rises (high, mid, and low) in a variety of cuts and washes that will range from small to 3X in size and $28 to $38 in price.
“We are pleased to introduce 12x12 Denim as a part of our continued focus on celebrating fashion for all sizes,” Linda Chang, Forever 21's vice president of merchandising, said in a press release. “A key part of our mission is to empower our customers, to be confident with the bodies they have and for their fashion to be an extension of this.”
Here's the thing, Forever 21 has done a great job with its plus-size offering; since 2009, it's been selling on-trend items for women sizes XL to 3X. And we applaud the retailer for that. But, since the store has been called out for its off sizing in the past, we asked them to clarify what 12x12's sizes actually means — and frankly, we're a little disappointed. Here's the breakdown provided: small is equivalent to a size 2/4; medium to 6/8; large to 10/12; 1X to 14; 2X to 16; and 3X to 18. If the average woman in America is a size 14/16, shouldn't a "size-inclusive" line offer well beyond that? (To put it into industry context, Torrid and Eloquii both offer up to a 28, while Premme offers up to a 30).
The messaging in the lookbook imagery isn’t exactly on par with being inclusive, either. While the models used — Yvonne Simone, Sierra Skye, Yasmin Geurts, and Sarina Nowak — do range in size, like this collection, the variety of sizes is limited. Both Geurts and Nowak are listed on their portfolios as having a 44 and 44.5 waist, respectively, which would make each a size 12, according to Forever 21's size chart.
At the time of publishing, Forever 21 was unable to offer any other information regarding its the 12x12 Denim selection. But we expect more from a retailer that's been such a leader in the space, and we hope its customers — whether plus-size or not — do too.