“The most frustrating part is not being able to go and buy stuff last minute off the rack,” says Tinka Bhatia, echoing the sentiments of almost every curvy woman in India. Tinka is the co-founder of Half Full Curve, a new fashion label for curvy women. She, along with her sister Rixi, recognized the need for on-trend plus size fashion in the country. The Financial Express reports that the plus size fashion segment is estimated to account for $5-6 billion in the $40 billion Indian online fashion apparel market by 2020. So why is a segment that constitutes 10-20 percent of the industry's revenue neglected by fashion brands?
“I think it’s firstly because Indians are not very accepting of bigger body types, secondly they are not ready to experiment,” says Tinka, adding, “If you’re slightly bigger, then you wear oversized or straight silhouettes and are done with it.” Tinka credits the exposure aided by the internet and the emergence of plus size Indian bloggers for the growing variety of stylish options.
The first three collections of their newly launched brand (priced between Rs 4,000- Rs 20,000) have been inspired by different art movements and explore a variety of silhouettes previously unavailable for curvy Indian women. “We did a survey and were quite surprised by the results. We had thought that a lot of bigger women won’t be comfortable wearing styles like off-shoulder tops, but they were more than happy to do so,” says Rixi.
Designer Wendell Rodricks is also collaborating with plus size fashion retail brand aLL-The Plus Size Store for their Autumn/Winter '17 collection. The collection, which will be showcased at the Lakme India Fashion Week Winter-Festive 2017, targets all the different body types within the broad label of ‘plus size’, including hourglass, apple and pear. "The western concept of plus size doesn't always work for the Indian woman," says the designer.
While Wendell Rodrick’s special collaboration with aLL will drop after LFW, in August, you can check out our curated selection of clothing from plus size fashion labels that's anything but boring.