Queen Latifah recently launched “Queen” for HSN, her first foray into the fashion industry after a wildly-successful makeup line of the same name for Covergirl. Considered by many to be a prominent figure in the plus-size fashion world, Latifah made a point to not market her brand as “plus-size” saying: “[Plus-size] is a word we need to bury at this point” and her line is “for all sizes.” She continued: “The truth is we all would like to wear the same clothes. We all want to wear beautiful, fly clothes no matter what size you are, and so for me it was important to match with a company that understood and respected that ideal.”

Hers is a sentiment expressed by many. There are women who wonder why high-end designers don’t go beyond a size 14 and just as many who lament that they can’t buy Monif C’s stellar swimwear line in petite sizes.

Likewise, it’s fascinating that popular brands like Asos and Forever 21 choose to create subsidiary lines for plus-size women (Asos Curve and Faith 21 respectively) rather than just offering their regular fashions in a wider variety of sizes.

Even more troubling is the inability to delineate what plus-size is. For some designers and magazines, plus-size can start as small as size 6 while others draw the line at size 14. Queen Latifah may have a point; why not scrap “plus-size” altogether and just design for women of all sizes?

But is that way of thinking too ideological? In theory, there shouldn’t be a need for lines that cater exclusively to plus-size women but the reality is full-figured women are still ignored by the greater fashion community.

Brands like Ashley Stewart, Torrid and Monif C.—and magazines like Plus Model Magazine—were created to serve a marginalized group of women that were largely ignored by the mainstream market. Until designers acknowledge all sizes on a regular basis, can we truly bury “plus-sizes”?

What do you think? Should we bury the word “plus-size”? Are separate “plus-size” lines needed or should designers just create pieces for a larger range of sizes?

Check out images from Queen Latifah’s new collection for HSN:

-Jessica C. Andrews

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  • I think Queen Latifah’s collection is gorgeous! Speaking for myself, as an indie fashion designer, I’ve designed for both plus and missy size women. One thing that is really critical in designing for plus sizes is the FIT. I see a lot of missy lines that just make bigger sizes to simply offer them, not really paying attention to how it fits on a plus size woman’s body type. It’s unlikely that a style will fit correctly on a size 18 woman, when the fit was based off a size 6 fit model. So to make sure a style looks great, fits correctly and highlights plus size women’s assets, the designer needs to invest in plus size fit models, new patterns, additional fabric, etc. This is one of the reasons why for us, we focus our energies and budget on designing only for plus sizes women.

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  • Lici

    So called “plus-sized” women should be more accepted in our society and I’m glad that this article points that out. There should be more media messages that promote self-love no matter how large or small you are. But just like any industry, it always comes down to money. As a fashion student, I know it can be expensive to buy fabrics and embellishments for a garment. I think some designers dont make “plus-size” clothing just because it costs too much money for them. A few items here and there won’t be a big impact but when you’re in ready-to-wear those costs add up. I am not saying that it is good that designers don’t make larger-sized clothing, I ‘m just bringing a different perspective. I personally wish they had more variety as well.