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.”
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).