Open Letter to the Malls of America

Open Letter to the Malls of America
April 25, 2017 Yona Love
In Style Watch

Dear Malls, Chain Stores, & Apparel Retailers of America, 

Have you wondered why sales have plummeted and why hundreds of chain stores across the country are closing? Of course, this is not news for many of you, but the writing is clearly on the wall.  The old way of creating, sizing, and selling fashion is on the way out. Women are speaking with their purses and are ditching the idea that fashion is only for whom you say it is, especially what sizes you choose to offer. Don’t blame Amazon. Your failure to provide apparel in sizes to fit the majority of American women is the culprit, and you have signed your own death certificate by your arrogance.

We are tired of walking into a store only to see clothes that do not fit us. Why feel rejected in person when entire collections of fashionable and stylish apparel can be delivered to our doorsteps with a click of the mouse?

Does this seem like a crazy idea?

I am no economist, but the numbers don’t add up. 67% of women wear size 14 or above in the US.  Yet less than 20% of apparel made for the US market reflects those sizes. Women across America have spoken and the message is clear: include us or cease to exist.

In fact, I actually prefer shopping at a store rather than online. The only problem is that it is not currently a positive experience. In fact, it is uncomfortable, disappointing, frustrating, and even humiliating.

I do understand that it is not easy to fit for plus sizes.  The variations in body shapes in a size four make much less of a difference than they do in a size 14 or 24.  This is why I invest so much in my fittings.  I often have to conduct three fittings to make a dress perfect.  It needs to move, flow, and breathe with me.

Yona New York exists because of the dearth of available fashion options for women like me. I would not have started my studio to custom designing plus size clothing if I had positive experiences shopping in my size at current retailers. So for that, thank you.

But I believe the trend is heading towards inclusive fashion. Designers will cater to women of all sizes. Stores will provide a pleasant shopping experience where knowledgeable stylists help women find clothing that work for their bodies, for their comfort, and for their own sensibilities.

I envision all women walking into a store with a smile to find beautiful clothes that fit, having a productive conversation with helpful staff, and walking out with that same smile with several bags of clothing in tow. In this scenario, everyone wins.  Let’s make this vision a reality.

This letter is an open invitation from Yona New York to join the trend and start listening to the women of America, because every woman in this country deserves to be heard.


Comments (3)

  1. Mary Alice Duff 1 month ago

    Yes!!! Absolutely loved reading this. I also plan to start my own line in the future for the reasons you’ve listed here. I’m a size 16/18 with money to spend and a great sense of style. Designers wake up!

    • mm Author
      Yona Love 1 month ago

      Us gals gotta stick together. Looking forward to hearing great things from you and our industry!

  2. Bill Fabrey 1 month ago

    Absolutely! Music to my ears! I I have personally experienced all that you say, even though the clothes weren’t for me, but for plus-size wives, friends, and partners for the last 50 years! Helped make an activist out of me.

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