Student Petitions for More Plus Size Mannequins at Parsons

Petition for Plus Size Mannequins
Photo: A.Currell on Flickr

We all know there are a bunch of reasons that finding quality, stylish plus size clothing is difficult. A Parsons School of Design student is trying to address one of the big issues for designers: lack of access to plus size mannequins.

When design students have access to plus size mannequins, it’s easier for them to create clothes that will fit a growing segment of the population. According to Nayyara Chue, a junior at Parsons, the lack of plus size mannequins means that less designers will incorporate a variety of sizes into their collections. She explains in this statement from the petition she created earlier this year:

It has come to my attention that there is currently only one plus-sized mannequin at Parsons, while there are approximately one thousand students focusing on fashion design attending at the moment. It is preposterous that several students can’t execute their plus-sized specialties at the school, even more so when the resources aren’t readily available to us. In addition, a mannequin costs circa 300-400 $US and isn’t econonomically accesible to everyone within the school.

In a statement to Refinery29, Yvonne Watson, associate dean and associate professor of fashion at Parsons says that the school currently offers 17 plus size forms, including a size 18 and size 22 option, which have only been requested and used twice. In a statement, Watson says: “Addressing social needs is at the core of our design education, and we regularly challenge students to address issues of beauty, body positivity, and diversity as a way of challenging existing stereotypes.”

Mannequin
Photo: Gildas_F on Flickr

According to the New School Free Press, the majority of the plus size mannequins available at Parsons are a size 12. Chue doesn’t feel this represents the plus size spectrum (and we’d inclined to agree).

Chue’s original goal was 150 signatures, and the petition recently crossed the 5,000 mark. You can view and sign the petition here.

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