Christian Siriano has won huge amounts of acclaim in the past—not just for his gorgeous designs, but for his embrace of pretty much anyone who wants to wear his creations. In an industry still dominated by sample sizes (though it’s slowly getting better), Siriano puts an emphasis on being size inclusive. As Fawnia Soo Hoo wrote for Glamour in February, “He’s also managed to smash the mold of what a typical ‘red-carpet moment’ looks like. No matter your age or body type, if Siriano likes your work, he’ll want to dress you—a strategy that’s proved successful with a broad range of celebrities and their stylists.”
He’s featured plus-size models in his fashion shows, designed a gorgeous wedding gown for a plus-size blogger, and made an incredible dress for Leslie Jones’s Ghostbusters premiere when other designers didn’t step up. At this year’s Oscars alone, a staggering 17 women wore his designs.
Siriano’s efforts to be inclusive separate him from other couture designers, but as he told the executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America Fern Mallis at a recent panel at the 92nd St. Y, his personal mission and love for every single kind of woman has proven to be great for his brand. To the tune of: Dressing plus-size women has tripled—yep, tripled—his business. (Now is a good time to add that the plus-size fashion market is worth $21 billion.)
“Adding plus sizes to my line tripled my business. Why wouldn’t you do that?! Do we not want to triple the business? Do we not think these women should wear our clothes? Do we not want these women to have beautiful things because we’re afraid they’re not beautiful? What is going on here?” the 32-year-old said at the event.
And while he acknowledged that designing beyond sample sizes involves different considerations, he also added that his brand (rightly) never charges more for larger-sized designs. After all, “You want to look cute in a dress and you’re a size 26? Why not?!”
Siriano’s business is now 50 percent plus-size, he said—and his clout is leading to change within the industry. “We got Moda Operandi to change their whole website—now they go up to our sizes,” the designer said. “Knowing we have a part in change like that, it’s amazing…but it’s still crazy to me that it’s not the norm.”