Why The Gabrielle Union x Fashion to Figure Collab is a Win for the Plus Size Industry

News broke last night that Gabrielle Union-Wade was launching a collection with plus size fashion retailer Fashion to Figure.

The 13-piece holiday themed collection, which launched today, garnered mixed reactions when the brand posted a teaser video on Instagram along with the announcement in the caption. 

The actress said on Instagram via her own announcement, along with the same video teaser:

“If I could sum up my life’s wish and fight, it would be to TRULY celebrate diversity and REAL tangible commitment to inclusion. It’s important to lift each other up and shine a light so bright on ALL of us, no one can be ignored or maligned. There are enough crowns of glory for us all. On that note, I am so proud to announce my new collection with @fashiontofigure which opens up the fashion game to a variety of shapes and sizes. It drops tomorrow, I hope you love it. #StrongerTogether #JustGettingStarted.”

While many praised the actress for venturing into plus sizes, there were also those who questioned her motives since Union-Wade is not plus size herself:

“This is nice .. but she’s not plus sized.”

“I love Gab U! However she can only sympathize with us, it’s a greater and better experience when we have a designer who emphasizes with us!”

“This is nice and I love Gabrielle Union but what would make more sense is a plus size woman designing clothes for us. Thin women have always had the upper hand in the fashion industry and it just perpetuates that to have another thin woman try and dress us and represent us.”

“If you’re not plus size yourself you really can’t relate, let alone know what works for a plus size female- how is this different than any other line out there? All I see is a celebrity adding her name to a line of clothing.”

Does a celebrity have to be plus size to successfully create a plus size collection?

Short answer, no.

While it’s a fact that Union-Wade has no idea what struggles a plus size woman goes through, why can’t she want plus size women to have the same fashion options as she does?

Also, has the actress ever shown herself to be fat phobic?

Being body positive is about celebrating ALL bodies and if Union-Wade is genuinely wanting to push the idea of inclusive fashion with this first step into the plus size apparel arena, her body size should have nothing to do with that.

She created this collection with FTF, which means the brand made sure the clothing was created just as the rest of their assortment is created… for curvy, plus size bodies.

This collaboration seems right because when Union-Wade launched her line two years ago with New York & Company (which owns Fashion to Figure), many plus size women voiced their hopes that the collection would be expanded into plus sizes.

Blogger/Influencer Darlene Lebron, who co-runs the successful virtual consignment company Blogger House Curvy Closet, told us:

“I’m so excited about this collection! I love Gabrielle Union and her style. I was so disappointed that her line with New York & Company didn’t include plus sizes. I see so many pieces I want to get. This is definitely a win-win for those of us who provided feedback to NY & Company, stating we wanted her to expand to plus sizes.”

The actress was also candid in her official statement about creating clothing for extended size ranges so that her family and all plus size women can wear her brand:

“My line’s availability at Fashion To Figure is a critical and personal moment for me. This is for my family and all the plus-size women who have messaged me asking for Gabrielle Union. This partnership goes beyond offering a more inclusive and extended size range; it was a deliberate effort to focus on a technical fit that celebrates curves.”

“It was a natural first step to offer the size range that FTF currently offers, but we are also working on getting the fit right for sizes beyond a 24 for future collections. I am so excited to be on this fashion journey, every collection levels up and I am closer to my personal goal of having a brand with bomb clothes that fit all bodies.”

SAY WHAT?!? Did she just say “beyond a 24 for future collections”???

Yes, she did and that is yet another reason that this is a win for the plus size industry. This celebrity is willing to push a brand to expand on their sizes because she believes that fashion should be accessible to women of many sizes. 

She also mentioned getting the technical fit right, which is something we often don’t hear when celebrities launch a clothing brand for plus sizes.

It’s obvious from her statement that while she is not plus size herself, Union-Wade is paying attention to what many plus size women are asking for.

The first Gabrielle Union x FTF Collection is right on time for holiday with styles curated to reflect Union-Wade’s glamour and edge with FTF’s “unapologetic celebration of curves”. 

Nick Kaplan, President and Co-founder of Fashion to Figure said:

“Gabrielle Union has an amazing fashion sensibility and we are so excited to welcome her to the FTF family. We are thrilled that Gabrielle choose our fit and brand to continue to evolve her collections with.”

The collection will be available in plus sizes 12-24 with a price range of $69.95 to $199.95. Here’s a look at the collection:

As we have said in a previous feature here, thinner allies should not be dismissed because they’re not plus size or a smaller non-visible plus. They can access places that other plus size women have not been able to in the past, using their voices to support us and push the message that fashion is for everyone. 

Seems as if Union-Wade is truly an ally for us and we can’t wait to see what she has planned for 2020 and beyond.

You can check out the collection here.

You can follow the conversation on social media via @FashionToFigure, @Gabunion and #GabunionxFTF.

What do you think of the Gabrielle Union x Fashion to Figure Holiday Collection? Follow us on social media and let us know: @plusmodelmagFacebook  | Instagram  | Twitter