Nordstorm celebrates all shapes and sizes

Nordstrom celebrates women of all shapes and sizes and has launched an extended sizing initiative to back this up.

Most women’s contemporary brands start with size 6 or 8 and go up to size 14 or 16. Nordstrom is asking its customers’ favorite brands to fill the gaps in sizing and expand their size ranges by adding more of sizes 4, 6, 16, 18 and 20. The retailer made progress with denim brands first. Mannequins in varying sizes–rather the typical size US2/UK6–will bring the story to life to create what the retailer hopes is a more inclusive shopping experience in the denim department of its newest store.

In addition, the customer-centric retailer is integrating all denim sizes together, side by side in one department rather than separating the petite and plus sizes. Participating brands initially include Topshop, Rag & Bone and Madewell, as well as the company’s private label brands Caslon and Halogen.

“Our customers have been asking for a broader range of sizes on both sides of the spectrum – the zeros and 2’s and beyond size 12,” said Tricia Smith, Nordstrom executive vice president and general merchandise manager for designer, women’s and kids apparel. “We recognize the opportunity to serve customers better by having more sizes. Style and fashion apply to everyone. They’re not created for a limited group of sizes. We don’t view being size inclusive any differently that the need to be more inclusive across the board—whether it’s ethnicity, size or body type. In our opinion, petite and plus sizes shouldn’t be considered special categories. They’re just sizes.”

This push towards a variety of sizes and the mannequins used to display the clothes means good things for the retail display industry. With an influx in demand for plus size mannequins, manufacturers can start to add new product lines to their offerings.

The display prop industry is huge with a range of standard and plus size mannequins available alongside the likes of display hand mannequins, jewellery displays, stand-alone heads and more on offer to retailers. This gives department stores such as Nordstrom, as well as smaller, independent retailers, a wealth of choice when it comes to merchandising within their stores.

As a woman who sits somewhere between the regular sizes and plus sizes, this is really refreshing. It’s not just the variety of sizes that need this kind of representation but shapes too. Long Tall Sally was a pioneer in this when it released a mannequin 3D printed in the form of one of its customers. To see how clothes fit tall, petite, pear, apple, athletic and hourglass shapes would make the shopping process so much easier for the women buying the clothes. It’s really only a very small segment of women who fit the size and shape of the modelesque mannequins we’re so used to seeing.

How do you feel your size and shape is represented in fashion?

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