Currently the womens plus size market in the US counts for 43% of the retail apparel market, a huge percentage for what has always been classed as a niche sector. By 2012 Women’s Plus size is projected to grow to 62.4 billion dollars, a massive growth of 20%!
In the US this is catered for by some great plus size brands such as Igigi and Kiyonna, plus a number of high street names. In general the UK market follows four years behind US size trends, so with such a large market for the future are we prepared here in the UK? Many high street brands in the UK are starting to realise they need to cater for a more diverse size range, including plus sizes, and the choice is improving. There is also a large increase in the number of specific online retailers such as Curvety.com, which means plus size women can now find trendy clothing in their size rather than the tent like outfits which have been associated with plus sizes in the past.
Over the coming years the acceptance of the plus size industry will have to grow, as will the offering. But can we still class it as a niche market when it is such a large percentage of the entire fashion industry? I think not.