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How Prabal Gurung Is Challenging The Sizing System

Prabal Gurung at the finale of his Fall 2017 show at New York Fashion Week. Indigital

Prabal Gurung at the finale of his Fall 2017 show at New York Fashion Week. Indigital

Prabal Gurung has revealed that news of his collection for plus-sized retailer Lane Bryant was met with mockery from certain fashion-industry insiders. The designer, who has catered for sizes up to 22 since he started out in the industry, recalled a moment where he was approached at an art exhibition by an acquaintance who asked him, “Why are you designing for fat people?” “She saw my reaction and she said, ‘Oh no, I meant it as a joke!’ I said to her, ‘Clearly, you know it’s not funny,'” he recounted to Fashionista. “I said to her, words are very powerful, they impact and affect lives. The majority of American women haven’t had a voice, haven’t felt like they belong in our world, and I wanted to be sure that they do. It’s people like you who make statements like these – there’s a reason I wanted to do this.”

Prabal Gurung

Candice Huffine walks for Prabal Gurung Fall 2017. Indigital

Gurung has long been an advocate of positive change in the industry, incorporating political issues into his shows, but he says he was inspired to create a high-fashion collection when he realized that “the changes I wanted to see, in the industry and the world, just didn’t happen by me doing a show with a few plus-size models or a diverse group of models; it needed to continue, and I felt like if lending my voice could move the conversation forward, I want to be part of it.”

Prabal Gurung

Bella Hadid walks for Prabal Gurung Fall 2017. Indigital

Despite a handful of designers catering for a wide size range, many have far to go – something which Gurung attributes to the general consensus that the luxury fashion industry is hesitant to adopt change. “Our industry is very, very slow at change, and fearful, we are operated by fear,” he said. “There are a handful of people who operate with absolute courage and guts, but the majority of us, we don’t.”

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