Another day, another new reason to add to the never-ending list of why there are so few plus-size clothing options for all the plus-size people in America: Design students never learn how to make them! Or so says Rosemary Brantley, chairwoman of fashion design at L.A.’s Otis College of Art and Design. “Design students have no interest in plus-size design, and as a result, few schools offer extensive courses in the specialty,” reports the L.A. Times. As a result, very few classes are offered, and the dearth of plus-size garments reinforces itself:
Designers adept at making regular sizes often are not trained in techniques to maintain the correct fit and proportion of plus-size clothes … to fit the multiple body proportions, retailers that cater to larger sizes often resort to carrying boxy, shapeless styles that accommodate a variety of body types.
Moreover, it’s expensive for schools to invest in all the different supplies that go into plus-size pattern-making. “The design process also requires larger mannequins and fit models on which to fine-tune samples, a significant investment of time and money for manufacturers or fashion schools,” the L.A. Times writes. So why bother doing it? Plus-size women won’t shop because there’s nothing cool for them to buy; thus, they’ll remain a paltry percentage of the retail market, and no one will want to make clothes for them. And the chicken-or-egg cycle continues.