WHY FASHION NEEDS TO STOP SIZEISM, BY DIMA AYAD

Our #GraziaGirlGang advocate for body positivity, designer Dima Ayad, has a few things to get off her chest about sizeism in the fashion industry. Prepare to nod along enthusiastically...
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WHY FASHION NEEDS TO STOP SIZEISM, BY DIMA AYAD

“I loathe that there are different size categories in fashion stores. Why is it if you’re considered curvy or tall or petite, that you need to go to a separate part of a boutique? It annoys me when brands try to compartmentalise women. Kudos to companies like M&S, which designs lines in a multitude of sizes, so you don’t necessarily have to go to a particular pigeonholed section.

This is one of the reasons I was so empowered to link up with the luxury e-commerce site, 11 Honoré. It’s an amazing, size-inclusive, luxury-shopping destination that really celebrates the female form. We finally have someone who is speaking and appealing to all women – whether they’re a size 10 or 26. Honestly, though, it’s a bit like, ‘Wake up and smell the coffee!’ Who are designers designing for?

The average female size is a 16; that’s 67 per cent of women. It’s 100 million women in America alone. So you either want to sell clothes or you don’t. When you go onto some of the luxury websites, it’s often the case that the larger sizes are sold out. That tells you that buyers either aren’t investing in enough of those sizes, or that perhaps demand could be outstripping supply.

Dima Ayad’s designs are available in sizes 10-26 on 11honore.com, alongside Prabal Gurung and Zac Posen

Major players sold on 11 Honoré include Zac Posen, Marchesa and Monique Lhuillier, which means the industry is slowly changing. I feel that in a few years’ time, we’ll look back and think – did we really try to force people to look a certain way? Did we really do that to women?

Having said that, I’m not trying to change the way fashion works – I’m in love with it – but everything evolves, and we should look at today’s world and embrace clothing to suit all people. I’ve always celebrated the female form in my collections. I design big and then go smaller. I have many clients who will come to me for a certain size, whether they’re petite or a 26. Let’s face it, you can’t be yourself if you can’t find what you want to wear, and that’s not empowering a woman to be confident now, is it?”

Photos: Supplied