Fashion-Forward Brands Cater to Plus-Size Women

More high-fashion clothing lines are creating styles for plus-size women, a group often overlooked in fashion.
7:23 | 01/09/15

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Transcript for Fashion-Forward Brands Cater to Plus-Size Women
When it comes to fashion, there seems to be two Americas. You have the 1 percenters, the size zero ladies and then there's pretty much everybody else. But now, the full-figure community is pushing back, and tar it appears to be working. Here's juju Chang. Reporter: Competing for the new bachelor's affection may be one small step for Bo Stanley. You're beautiful. Thank you. But it felt like a giant leap for plus-size women ever. I'm a plus size model, so I've got to keep my curves. Bo didn't make it to the second round. But her appearance alone speaks volumes. I was so honored to be put on the show as a plus size model because they've never had one before. The women an the bachelor are more likely size zeros while the average American wears a size 14 which means 67% of the population. And that majority is being silent no more. I couldn't fit in the same jeans that's my little skinny friend had. I had to be on the hunt. Curvier woman, it does take more of the to put yourself together. You can't just throw on something and go out the door. I have to put on something that's going to fit my curves great and how am I going to feel sexy? Reporter: The former pro surfer dreams of launching her own line. I would like to see better bikinis, better cut-off shorts. Reporter: She's part of a new generation of outspoken curvy women. Target launching a collaboration that just happened to be after a blogger threatened to boycott. Meghan Trainor glorifies her body claiming -- ? all about the bass ? Amber Riley strut her stuff with "Glee." And despite full size "Elle" cover girl Melissa Mccarthy bundled up in a coat, fashion designers still often neglect fashion conscious ladies. One created a hash tag plussizeplease pressuring fashion designers to take note. Judy Arnold is a director at a plus-size line which partnered with Nordstrom. We launched this a couple of weeks ago. She's designing with confident plus size women. Size zero women doesn't have bust or a hip. A plus size woman can be a different shape and be a 14/16. There are many different shapes. When we're designing you can't think I'm going to get one dress that's going to fit all these shapes or you'd end up with a moomoo again. It adds production costs which may be why retailers are gun shy. Does she not have good choices to spend money on? For plus size women finding high fashion clothes cannot only be difficult but downright demoralizing. You go to the store and it only comes in a size 10. And you might be a 12. You might be a 16, 18 or 20. And it just crushes you. That struggle to find trendy outfits in bigger sizes inspired fashionista courteney smith to follow her heart starting her own clothing line called rum and coke. She designs and sells the clothes herself. She has 8,000 devoted followers an instagram alone. Why do you think instagram is so good at selling clothes for you? It's more personable. Hey, can you do the dress in purple? I'll write you back. Immediately. I'll have my phone next to the sewing machine. Yeah, I can do it in purple. Her site relies on curvy women of color as models. Filling the niche in a plus size industry already puling in $17 billion in annual sales are sales like fashion to figure sprouting up in malls across America. 26 to be exact. Specializing in styles and glam clothes for women sizes 12 to 26. So much of the pain of being overweight is the ability to go into a store and buy what you want. Yeah. Being exceptionalized and marginalized. Michael caplin took the fast fashion model and applied it to the plus size market. We don't have a dress in our store more than $40. They are typically $28 to $36. That's our fast fashion model. It's in Michael's DNA. His great grandma founded lane Bryant. She was a pioneer in fashion for larger women. To see what they're going for, watch Amanda Augusto transform before your very eyes. When we first met her, she was 17 and about to graduate from high school. Looking for jeans. Going to Italy. Trying on clothes she never managed herself wearing. Tell me what you see in the mirror? I see a beautiful girl. With a little help from what used to be called a girdle. What's the shaper for? What it does is it brings the woman's figure in. One to four inches? Yes. Her courage is boosted enough to try on a dress for the first time since she was 6 years old. I felt like the girl who is like the perfect friend or something. And maybe this will, you know, hopefully get me like a date or something. Maybe you can be the perfect girlfriend. Check out your daughter. My baby. Looking good. Business is booming. Doubling in just two short years. Fashion to figure is reaching a generation of young people whose obesity rates have tripled in the last 30 years. Just as the plus size share of the fashion market has spiked. Critics say isn't this celebrating obesity? A size 26 is a 300-pound girl. That can't be healthy. We're not in the business of labeling people. I think we're really all about confidence. We are trying to make people feel confident and we're there for you no matter what size you are. It's not about being comfortable in your clothes but being comfortable in your skin. Size 26, if you are working out, if you are happy, healthy, if you love your body, it's fine. You are a human being. I promote health at all sizes. One girl's healthy size can be zero and another's 24. Everyone's genetic makeup is different. No one can be the judge. I'm juju Chang in New York.

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