USA: Neiman Marcus Last Call trying out plus-size women’s department
That whole thing about how you can’t be too rich or too thin may not be too 2017.
Last year, Ashley Graham was the first plus size model to be on the cover of theSports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. She’s the first plus-size model to be on the cover of Vogue, in the fashion magazine’s upcoming March issue.
And beginning Saturday, Dallas-based Neiman Marcus is adding a plus-size women’s department that it’s branded as “Curvy Chic” to five of its Last Call stores:
Grapevine Mills, in Grapevine, Texas, Sugarloaf Mills in Lawrenceville, Georgia; Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in Auburn Hills, Michigan, Arundel Mills in Hanover, Maryland and Miromar Outlets in Estero, Florida.
Depending on how this initial rollout goes, larger sizes may be added to other stores, said Frank Crisci, vice president of merchandising.
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“We know the upscale (plus-size) customer has been under served,” Crisci said. “She comes in for handbags, shoes and gifts, but she’s been asking us, ‘when are you going to offer clothing for people like me?’ ”
The average American woman is a size 14 and over 65 percent of women wear plus sizes, he said. “It’s a more than $20-billion-a-year business and we were walking this customer,” Crisci said in an interview. Neiman Marcus stores go up to size 14 with a few brands going up to size 18.
Both Last Call and Neiman Marcus have been selling plus sizes online, but this is a first for its stores, Crisci said. Saks Fifth Avenue also only sells plus sizes for women online, but Macy’s and Nordstrom have it in stores.
Some say the average size of 14 is outdated. Last year, researchers at Washington State University published a report that said the average American woman is somewhere around misses 16-18 and a women’s plus size 20W. Sizes are also inconsistent, the report said. That’s all the more reason to try on clothing in stores vs. online.
Nordstrom’s plus size departments are in 103 of its 123 full-line stores including its four Dallas area stores, a spokesman said. It’s also added plus-sizes to coats, lingerie and women’s active departments. It recently expanded the plus-size denim brands it offers at the NorthPark Center store. Almost all (189) of its 215 Nordstrom Rack stores offer plus sizes.
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