Inspiration, creativity, and great fashion sense come in all shapes and sizes, and Bethany Rutter's book Plus+ is here to prove it. The London-based fashion blogger and fat activist (formerly of Arched Eyebrow fame) has edited and launched a coffee table book that features over 100 of the boldest and most empowering plus-size street style looks from around the world.
Rutter was initially approached by publisher Ebury Press in the summer of 2016 and started working on the project about 10 months later. “I would never have gone to my agent about doing a plus-size street style book, because I just never assumed there was a market for it and that any major publisher would get behind it,” she admits. But people are increasingly demanding a better and broader representation of women and society, and since its release last month, Plus+ has been racking up positive responses for championing plus-size diversity and impeccable style for a wider audience. “There was a book published before mine, The Little Book of Big Babes by Rachelle Abellar, but that was self-published [and might not have been distributed as widely],” Rutter explains. “I think to have a book on mainstream sale has been really positive for a lot of people.”
Mixing up #BoPo leaders like Gabi Fresh and Nadia Aboulhosn with less established names, Rutter scouted talent outside of her circle too, looking for the fiercest shots: “I had to contact everyone and say: ‘Here is the photo of you that I feel is really cool and represents your style and plus-size fashion really well, I’d like to use it in this book,’” she says. She also collected personal quotes on fashion and style from each person to accompany the images.
Ahead, Refinery29 caught up with Rutter to learn more about the creation of the book, her aspirations for the project, and to discuss the current situation of the plus-size community in mainstream media narratives, and in the fashion industry, too.