In the last decade, one had to squeeze the flab and bulges to fit in a regular outfit or seek a refuge in a couturier for the deficiency of choices of sizes in the branded apparel brands. Looking at this opportunity Niche clothing brands have started launching plus-size clothing. Many existing and new brands have altered their basket to provide their offerings the customers with generous body types. Niche clothing brands such as Biba, Mustard, Alto Moda, Pluss, Amydus and Oxolloxo have joined the large sized clothing club along with aLL that has been retailing such clothing since 10 years.
The plus-size customers look for clothing that is beyond the functional, claimed Shital Mehta, CEO of Pantaloon Fashion Retail who launched Alto Moda last year. This particular category is under-serviced and there are organized retailers exciting those customers who seek fashion in the category. The aim for the brand is to contribute five percent to the sales of the store from the existing three to four percent in the next one year.
The shocking element of the plus size garments is that they are ebbed away now as more Indians have started accepting themselves as they are. Regarding the same, Amit Gugnani, the Senior VP at Technopak consultancy firm stated that realizing that fashion looks brilliant on the screen, but it may not fit everyone has made the Indians accept their looks. This way, they are looking for plus size clothing that reflects their personality and body type without any hesitation.
The increasing obesity levels in India have led to an increased demand for the plus size clothing. The country is the third most obese country in the world following U.S. and China, claimed Gugnani.
A part of Future Group, aLL was the first brand to launch this category of apparel in 2005. The brand provides ready-to-wear ethnic and western wear and accessories that are not available easily for the brand conscious plus size customers. The increasing demand for these large sized clothing has encouraged many niche apparel retailers to come up with similar apparel. They provide tops ranging from 42 to 56 inches and bottoms from 36 to 52 inches for women. Also, for men, they provide shirts and tees from 44 to 62 inches and bottoms from 40 to 58 inches.
Brands such as Pluss provide a choice between 1XL and 9XL or 60 inches. The plus sized clothing brand Amydus by Begin101 Lifestyle provides a slew of both ethnic and western wear. Also, Noida headquartered Oxolloxo has launched 9 to 5 wardrobe basics for the plus sizes.
As per Arvind Shenoy, a professional photographer based in Bengaluru stated that it is challenging to find professional plus sized models, but a new breed of customers have been modeling for the plus sized brands.
Though the plus sized apparels are gaining traction in the market, it remains quite low when compared to the total apparel market.