Prabal Gurung on Size Diversity in Fashion: 'Unfortunately, Progress Has Been Slow'
The designer hopes the whole industry will get behind celebrating diversity
Prabal Gurung is one of the leading designers in the industry promoting diversity on his runways and fashion collections. He notably casts models of different races and clothing sizes, who often are outside the sample size range. And while he’s doing a lot to move the industry forward, in a new interview with PeopleStyle, he says there’s still a lot more to be done.
“Unfortunately progress has been slow,” he says about the fashion industry’s movement towards inclusivity. “I’ve definitely seen steps taken more now than ever but we’re absolutely hoping for more growth. For real change to happen, we need the entire industry, and on a global level, to get behind this movement — to celebrate diverse models in campaigns, editorials, on the runway and beyond.”
In fact, he says one of the most surprising aspects of working with Lane Bryant (he just released his second collection!) is realizing how many women fall under the “plus-size” category and how little focus some designers pay to them. “It’s pretty incredible that the majority of US consumers are considered ‘plus size.’ It’s a substantial segment of the market, yet there is such minimal representation and engagement with this client. They want fashion and this is what we’re bringing to them.”
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That need to create and provide fashion for all sizes is why he says it’s more important than ever to celebrate diversity. “Our population is full of people of different shapes, sizes, ethnicities and religions,” he says. “The melting pot culture of New York is what brought me here in the first place. It is essential that the cultural cannon reflect our diverse population.”
Gurung is very busy doing his part to move the industry forward with his second installment with Lane Bryant. His new ad campaign features Candice Huffine modeling chic separates and cool-girl going out styles that are even better than his last collection.
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To get inspired he says he expanded on his influences from his last Lane Bryant line. “Last season was about an empowered woman on a journey to Paris, the fashion capital of the world,” Gurung tells PeopleStyle. “While there, she takes control over her life, she owns her femininity, and she embraces self-love. This season, our muse continued her experience through Paris and learned to embrace the relaxed and free, romantic spirit of the city.”
So if you’re trying to figure out how your budget will allow you to buy the entire collection, pick up some of Gurung’s favorites first. “They’re all great but I especially love the grey coat with detachable fur collar, the suede patchwork skirt, and the fisherman knit,” he says.
What are you shopping first?