More Plus-Sized Mannequins Coming To Parsons School of Design

parsons school of design

As many of us know, the average woman in the United States is a size 14.

According to The NPD Group, sales for plus-size women’s clothing in the US was reported at $17.5 billion by April 2014, which was a 5% increase from 2013.

At the Parsons School of Design in New York City, there is currently only one plus-sized mannequin available to students, while there are approximately 1,000 fashion design students that attend Parsons, according to Nayyara Chue, a junior at Parsons.


When asked about the number of plus size mannequins available to students at Parsons, Fiona Dieffenbacher, assistant professor of fashion and program director of BFA Fashion Design, told New School Free Press (NSFP) that “Parsons has one size 22 mannequin and 15 size 12 mannequins with one in each of the construction studios“.

The aspiring plus size designer grew frustrated at this ratio of plus size mannequins to students at the school and decided to do something about it because to her:

“Size 12 is hardly plus size. That’s borderline.”

Note left by student on the shared size 22 mannequin reserving times they need to use the form for her thesis (Photo Credit: Nayyara Chue/NSFP)

So she launched a Care2 petition page in March, addressed to Joel Towers, the Dean of Parsons, asking the public to “sign this petition in order to spread and encourage body positivity not only in our classrooms, but in all of the design world as well!

Last May, Chue told NSFP:

“The fashion world doesn’t really accept people that look like me. What I want to do is create clothes to make women not feel beautiful, because they already are, but to make them comfortable with themselves and have something that fits their body.”

As she stated in her petition:

“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 accessible to everyone within the school.”

After garnering more than 8,000 signatures, the petition is a success. Chue updated the petition a week ago to announce that students at Parsons are now able to use plus size mannequins to create designs. She stated:

“This was just the first step towards reaching the ultimate goal of a more body positive fashion industry.

Without any of you this petition wouldn’t be successful. Together we created a positive impact in my university and around the world. Each and every signature matters. Thank you all for your support!!”

It’s individuals like Chue that are making changes in the fashion industry simply by using their voice and calling for support. We applaude her for creating access to plus size mannequins for her fellow students.

Click here to see more of Chue’s successful petition.

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