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Plus-Sized Fashion at Saks: Some Background

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Maybe you heard about Saks Fifth Avenue's plan to mixed plus-sized designer offerings into the racks of their hallowed third floor—items from Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Fendi, Valentino and Michael Kors amongst many others. Maybe you also heard that Jezebel's attempts to get a comment on this little nugget from Saks and/or a handful of the labels were pretty much in vain.

Here's the part you might not have heard, though, at least if you haven't spent years paying attention to designer sizing: Chanel and cohorts have been selling plus-sized clothing for a very long time, and it makes them a lot of money.

Chanel is really expensive. And really wealthy, not-so-young women wear it. This was even truer before say 2002—when couture/high end/logo/monogram/Paris Hilton-mania spread to the far corners of the earth and young people with credit and copies of Us Weekly were buying Speedy bags on time and middle-schoolers were replacing their Jansports with Kate Spades.

Before then, skinny young bitches didn't even want Chanel. When they finally did, they couldn't afford it. And, frankly, most can't afford it now. By the time they will be able to afford Chanel or Kors or Cavalli (or marry someone who can—just sayin'), they're not going to be so young. And they're very likely not going to be so skinny either.

That said: These labels have been producing plus-sized garments for years. Could you imagine if Valentino, Armani, Carolina Herrera, Escada, Donna Karan and Max Mara didn't make 12s, or 14s, or 16s? They'd be dunzo; those charity-gala-ladies-who-lunch-museum-board-members-who-"winter"-and-"summer" make up a pretty big chunk of their markets.

The issue here isn't the fact that these clothes are being made—they very much are. It's finding those clothes, and that one of the foremost department stores in the world is going to be stocking them alongside smaller sizes in a flagship department. And given their market, they probably don't want to advertise it. We're talking about women who treasure discretion and quality over jewel-crusted monogramming and, frankly, don't want their sizes—let alone their style and their access to such styles—bouncing around the internet.
· Plus-Sized Chanel, YSL, McQueen Coming Soon to Saks [Racked NY]
· Why Won't Chanel Talk About Their Plus-Sizes [Jezebel]
· Saks Fifth Avenue [Official Site]

Saks Fifth Avenue

611 5th Avenue, Manhattan, NY 10022 (212) 753-4000 Visit Website

Saks Fifth Avenue

611 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY