There’s no denying that we’re fans of indie designer Rachel Antonoff here at Refinery29. Her quirky, down-to-earth take on clothing is both fun and refreshing (seriously, who doesn’t want a uterus sweater or a dissected-frog print dress?) — and the fact that she's partnered with Gwynnie Bee on an exclusive plus-size collection only makes us love her more.
Although Gwynnie Bee collaborated with designers in the past, Antonoff is arguably the most notable to date. “The big thing for us is this is really all about bringing great content and original product from high-quality designers into the plus-size space," the company's CEO, Christine Hunsicker, tells Refinery29. "Because I think that’s what our members really want; that’s what the plus-size community really wants.”
Antonoff is equally excited for her foray into full-figured fashion: “I’m a fan of Gwynnie Bee, but in general, my approach to fashion has always been that it should be fun, it should be inclusive, and your clothing should be more of an accessory for an adventure or a good time than something that’s stressful."
And while she does not currently offer plus-size designs in her collection (though plans to do so are in the works) — Antonoff is expanding her customer base into the 67% of women who wear size 14 and up. “Fashion has so many wonderful things about it, but there’s this aspect that it feels exclusionary, can be somewhat elitist, and make you feel like you’re supposed to look different than you do, or make you want to be something that you’re not,” she says. “I’ve always felt like clothes should just be part of celebrating who you are and enhancing your day, whether it’s just because you’re more comfortable or you feel good in them, and I think the plus-size market is so important and not necessarily getting the attention it deserves yet. I think it’s starting to, but it’s not all the way there. But it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”
Although there’s no uterus sweater in the size 10 to 32W collection, you will be able to score some of Antonoff’s latest and greatest. “One of my favorite things about this collection with Gwynnie Bee is that we were able to draw from what I think are our greatest hits,” she explains. “We got to pick the frog print, which is one of my favorites from our science-fair themed collection; the fruit print, which is definitely my favorite from spring. We drew [inspiration] from all over.”
The seven-piece collection won't hit Gwynnie Bee until June 19, but you can get a sneak peak at the collaboration in full, ahead. Click through to see the latest line changing the plus-size game.