The Sunday Telegraph, STELLA "Seven new plus-size labels to know now"
Seven new plus-size labels to know now
‘A lot of the contemporary brands I love stop at a size 14 or 16 at a push, so I’m always hunting for the styles I can squeeze into.’ So says Jada Sezer, plus-size model and body-positivity advocate. And her sentiments are a familiar frustration to plenty of women: for many years those above a size 14 have been made – by certain brands, both high street and high end – to feel that they’re not welcome. Those brands simply didn’t make clothes that fitted them. Instead, plus-size shoppers were forced into specialist stores, frequently limited to badly cut styles in poor-quality fabrics. However, with the average British woman now shopping for a size 16 and plus-size accounting for 20 per cent of Britain’s womenswear spend in 2017, brands are finally beginning to respond. The plus-size market in the UK alone is valued at £6.6 billion. Social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram have also given women a voice to call out brands that try to make them feel ashamed of their size. And they’ve given these women a place to show that, just like a size 8 blogger, they too are interested in fashion and can style up a storm. From sustainable swimwear to customisable dresses, here are seven new ‘size inclusive’ brands aimed at giving all women access to stylish pieces.
Originally an obstetrician-gynaecologist in Tbilisi, Georgia, Nana Rasoeva moved to the UK in 2000. After going up a couple of sizes, the mother of three was frustrated by her clothing options (‘uninspiring, shapeless polyester’). She retrained as a designer and founded her label in 2018: a range of coats, dresses, shirts, trousers and knits in UK sizes 14-28, from £135. ‘We’re adept at cutting for curves; balancing proportions or shaping the waist to accentuate the female form,’ she says. ‘Style is about expressing yourself, making sure you look and feel great regardless of size or age.’ Her biggest hit is the classic tuxedo trousers. ‘I wore them to the Fashion Awards in December with our Diaphanous coat, but you can also dress them down with a white cotton shirt and trainers.’
Red Magazine "Finally, a plus-size brand we actually *want* to wear"
Style doesn't have to be compromised for fit
When shopping for plus-size clothing on the high street, many women have felt frustrated at the limited range of options available. Often, a key piece from a collection isn't available in bigger sizes, if the brand even stocks those sizes at all.
But, thanks to the powerful voice of the body positivity movement, the fashion industry is finally taking notice.
That's why plus-size shoppers have been flocking to The Hour, who pride themselves on creating contemporary, trend-led, flattering pieces for fuller figures, from size 14 upwards.
The label was launched by London-based Nana Rasoeva, who felt uninspired by luxury plus-size clothing for women, and wanted to fill the gap in the market. Rasoeva's lightbulb moment came while searching for summer clothes.
"I was disappointed with the quality, fit and fabric, everything," she says. "I wanted well-fitting clothes in natural fabrics that were cool and a pleasure to wear. Was I asking for the impossible? At the time that was how it seemed."
Dedicated to creating wardrobe solutions for curvy women, she founded The Hour to empower women and the female form, creating cuts to balance proportions and accentuating the waist.
And it's easy to see why women are raving about the brand. With innovative cuts and fabrics (think: silk, denim, sequins), The Hour takes standard plus-size fashion and puts their modern, on-trend, European-chic stamp all over it.
The Business Post, Magazine "Fashion: Cometh The Hour"
Fashion: Cometh THE HOUR
High-quality, form-flattering clothing for women above a size 14 is hard to find, but The Hour London is filling the void
‘I was planning a summer holiday to Sicily,” says Nana Rasoeva. “And could not find anything I wanted to wear. Everything in my size was made of cheap polyester, which would make me feel uncomfortably hot and unattractive. I thought to myself: how hard can it be?”
The ‘it’ for Rasoeva was this: is it so impossible to create form-flattering clothing for women above a size 14? She believed not, sparking a path that led to her current role as founder and designer of a new luxury contemporary wear label for women. The Hour London is Rasoeva’s passion project, and since its launch in November of last year, has opened up a new conversation about what democratic fashion ought to mean.
Rasoeva’s is an interesting back story. At high school in Tbilisi, Georgia, she vacillated between science and art before settling on medicine. Progressing to become an obstetrician, an expertise that has informed her respect for female anatomy, she relocated to London and became a mum of three.
“I put on weight after my second child,” she says. “And found it extremely difficult to find well-designed clothing in bigger sizes. I wanted the kind of clothes that I used to wear when I was slimmer, but they were nowhere to be found. It got me thinking.”
Dispensing with medicine, Rasoeva studied design at the London College of Fashion before immersing herself in an intensive pattern-making course. From there, she starting sketching, enlisted the help of a highly experienced pattern cutter and set about securing the right manufacturers.
“The challenge was to find the right factory, one that would produce great-quality clothing, but in smaller quantities, with ethically sound production too. I hate the idea of buying clothes and then throwing them away. It’s better to invest in one piece and wear it many, many times.”
The Hour London is a collection of foundation pieces, each in high-quality fabrics and tailored to flatter the fuller figure. “I wanted to change the perception that plus-size clothing needs to be shapeless,” says Rasoeva. “If you make a good pattern that fits the body in the right places, and not just covers up like a tent, it can make you look more polished and feel more confident. My pieces are not cheap, but they are special. And that’s what professional women want.”
Star pieces include the satin-striped tuxedo trousers, £385.71, which come with a subtly elasticated waistband; the flip-hem skirt, £262.98, which does body contouring the right way; and, not seen here, but online at thehourlondon.com, the square-neck dress in black, £409.08, a true wardrobe staple that will flatter forever. Sizes run from 14-28, with express shipping to Ireland available. The Hour, at last, has come.
Marie Claire "The plus size clothing designers you need to know about"
The plus size clothing designers you need to know about
Hanky hems and smock tops have been banished in favour of a much more fashion forward outlook within the plus size industry. The last five years has seen a huge rise in the availability of plus size fashion, with a host of new brands emerging and some well-established favourites creating a plus size offering. The stats suggest that over 50% of women now wear a size 14+, suggesting the market for plus size fashion is quickly catching up with, and might even overtake, its straight size sister.
While plus size fashion may have been living in the shadows, it is certainly having a moment in the sun right now and with the likes of Ashley Graham taking the world of plus size fashion mainstream it is easy to see why so many labels are keen to get involved.
This is a round-up of plus size brands you need to know, whether it’s reminding you of some old favourites that are bringing something fresh to the table or a new kid on the block, your AW18 shopping just got a whole lot more interesting…
Founded by London-based Nana Rasoeva, this new size-inclusive brand perfectly fulfils their mantra, ‘luxury that fits’. Focusing on trend-led, contemporary pieces that flatter the figure, balance proportions and accentuate the waist – something that has previously been lacking in many other plus size offerings – The Hour is available in sizes 14-26 and features a covetable mix of wardrobe essentials from tailored jackets to THE perfect pair of tuxedo trousers.
Absolutely Magazine "THE HOUR is redefining the world of plus-size fashion."
"THE HOUR is redefining the world of plus-size fashion."
Nana Rasoeva found luxury plus size women’s clothing uninspiring, which prompted her to launch a collection of elevated essentials. As a trained doctor, Nana has empathy and an understanding of the female form. This proved invaluable when she launched her second career, dedicated to creating wardrobe solutions for curvy women. Nana studied pattern making and design at London College of Fashion. Together with one of the industry’s most experienced luxury pattern cutters she devised a way of using her knowledge to create clothes that are empowering and lend confidence. Honed to perfectly serve women with curves, the brand focuses on elegant, beautifully executed designs.