Entries in Plus Size (2)


Model’s Journey to Plus-Size and Back

JP Yim/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- After three years of hearing she was too fat, runway model Karolin Wolter rebranded herself as plus-size only to be told she was too skinny.

“Working in an industry that constantly judges you, your look and your body isn’t easy,” said Wolter, who was 18 when she started modeling in Hamburg, Germany.

Once a healthy 136 pounds, Wolter shed 11 pounds from her 5-foot, 11-inch frame to land runway jobs. But she was urged to lose more. And by her first fashion week in 2009, she was down to 116 pounds.

At the time, Wolter thought “it was totally fine,” she wrote in an essay for I Love You magazine. “Now, while writing this, I am shaking my head. I can’t quite believe it.”

Soon the pressure to be thin became overwhelming.

“I realized I couldn’t look in the mirror anymore,” she wrote. “I knew something was wrong.”

Wolter decided to take some time off to rethink the business and relaunched her career as a plus-size model. Her agent said, “No way, you are not big enough,” she wrote. “But I didn’t give up. I made him measure my body, and I told him I could see what the plus-size agents had to say.”

New York plus-size agents quickly took her in, but she struggled to get work.

“And when I did, I needed to wear pads to make me look bigger,” she wrote.
"Suddenly, I was too slim.”

Now Wolter is back to being a “straight-size” model again, a reversion that saddens her.

“I was proud -- I actually loved being called plus-size,” she wrote. “I told everyone I was plus-size. I love the words ‘plus-size.’ To be given this label was most likely the happiest day I can remember.”

But Wolter said she no longer feels the pressure to be super-skinny, and as a result, sometimes opts for smaller projects.

“It’s not about how big you are, how small you are or what label you are given. It’s about how you carry yourself,” she wrote. “If you are comfortable with your body, you can sell pretty much anything.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Overweight and Chic: Plus-Size Business Is Booming

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- It could be the great weight divide. While supermodels in glossy magazines seem to be getting skinnier, "real" American women have gotten plumper and more curvy, which has launched a new and booming market for plus-size fashion.

In what many fashionistas called a bold move, Vogue featured the voluptuous singer Adele, wearing a size 16 black dress, on the cover of its March issue. The cover's release came on the heels of legendary Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld's comments about Adele's weight. In February, Lagerfeld said the singer was "a little too fat" in an issue of Paris's free newspaper, Metro, for which he was guest editor.

The 23-year-old Adele shot back, telling People magazine that she is "very proud" to "represent the majority of women."

The average American woman is 5-foot-4, weighs 164 pounds and wears a size 14 to 16. Some buxom female celebrities, including Queen Latifiah and Bridesmaids star Melissa McCarthy, thumbed their noses at the uber-slim supermodel standard and launched their own plus-size clothing lines.

And retailers are starting to pay attention.

A new chain of stores called "Fashion to Figure" has opened. It's like the H&M or Forever 21 of plus-size fashion. It provides stylish and glamorous clothes for women sizes 12 to 26 at reasonable prices -- with dresses typically running $28 to $36. Its message: enough with the size 2.

CEO and founder Michael Kaplan was studying for his Harvard MBA when he said he noticed that the latest trend of so-called "fast fashion," when an expensive runway look is re-created cheaply, was bypassing the plus-size market.

Kaplan's business is a family affair. His brother Nick toiled in retail for 20 years and his little sister Palley trained at Nordstorm. Not to mention that the Kaplans' great-grandmother was Lane Bryant, of the plus-size clothing empire that now includes nearly 850 stores and over $1 billion in annual revenue.

Almost 6 feet tall and nearly 200 pounds, Anna Kleinsorge is a plus-size model. She argues that having sexy clothing options doesn't enable someone to be obese -- quite the opposite.

"If I'm wearing sweat pants or a paper bag every day, I would grow to fill that paper bag -- whereas when I have something that looks awesome on me and makes me feel good, I'm out, I'm doing stuff, I'm with my friends and experiencing life," she said.

While some critics might say that the expanding plus-size fashion market is celebrating being overweight, Kaplan said they advocate people being healthy, but his company's mission is about offering a better life for those who are plus-size.

"We're not in the business of labeling people," Kaplan said. "We are trying to make people feel confident. Everybody needs great fashion. It's a mind set. And we're there for you, you know, no matter what size you are."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio