Alexandra Shulman Addresses The Size Issue In Fashion

by: Well Made Clothes Staff | 11 months ago | News

Image: Alexandra Schulman. Image source

“Size is a highly emotional issue,” explains the former editor-in-chief of British Vogue Alexandra Schulman in a recent op ed for Business of Fashion. “Size is not simply a number,” she continues. But fluid as it may seem, size in fashion is unfortunately still very fixed. “Being a woman working in fashion, who has never been slim, the miniscule sizing that fashion designers regard as the best way to showcase their work, and the disconnect between this and the way much of the rest of the world looks and feels, has long bothered me,” Schulman explains.

Over the years, she explains that she has personally tried to shift this culture. “Eight years ago, while I was editor-in-chief of British Vogue, I wrote to a large number of leading international designers asking them to consider the matter of size when it came to the samples they sent out to magazines.” She asked them to contemplate producing their samples in larger sizes so that the magazine could feature a more diverse range of personalities. “I received many polite replies but nothing changed,” she recalls.

And Schulman isn’t the only one frustrated with this situation. This year major luxury fashion conglomerates (and rivals) LVMH and Kering joined forces in an unprecedented way, creating a Model Wellbeing Charter that aims to push back against the ridiculously narrow and frighteningly unhealthy size standards throughout the fashion industry. Which followed casting agent James Scully’s emotional plea last year to end the ‘cruel and sadistic’ abuse of models. Speaking at BoF Voices event this month, LVMH’s Antoine Arnault explained that this landmark charter is not about demonising very thin models but about ceasing to expect them to fit into the tiniest of clothes.

For one thing Arnault hopes to see size 32 (an Australian 6) banished from the catwalks and for this to be followed through to the sample collection. “It is extremely small and I would hazard a guess that most people don’t even think clothes are made in such a size,” Schulman poses. “But if Arnault and his fellow corporate signatories commit to this small but significant step, then hopefully further progress will be made. While magazine editors possess a certain amount of power, in terms of which fashion designers and brands are featured in the pages of their publication, the people who really determine what happens are those who pay the bills.”

Via Business of Fashion


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