New Zealand retailer K&K is championing women of all shapes and sizes in its latest campaign by using un-retouched, recognisable Kiwi bloggers. Customers are also being encouraged to share photos of themselves and use the hashtag #KandKrealwomen. rn
Marketing manager Diana Lamb says K&K wanted to create a campaign that was relatable to its customers.
“In a country where the average women’s clothing size is a 14-16, it’s time that we embrace and love the bodies that we have,” she says.
K&K says it’s trying to challenge the fashion industry’s modelling expectations by using real women who are un-retouched.
The photos were shot in a raw, street-style format to make it feel more authentic.
The models used, Beth Elliott and Regina Alai, both run their own fashion blogs, and will encourage their audiences on Facebook and Instagram to share photos of themselves on social media.
Elliott says she chose to be a part of the campaign to show women that they have a right to feel beautiful in what they wear, regardless of their size.
She says if one person is inspired to buy something she’ s wearing and feels beautiful and confident, she’ll be “over the moon”.
Alai wrote about the modelling experience on her blog, saying: “I wont lie, the entire process has made me cringe a bit, to expect unedited monster sized posters of myself in shopping malls across the country! But with them feels, if I do look okay without any photoshopping and in my normal plus-size self, if I do look okay and aligned with the size 0 model in the neighbouring store with has her skin, thigh’s and waist manipulated, I might not look as great, but I definitely do feel proud!”
Plus-sized fashion is a fast-growing sector of the market worldwide, with the category generating about US$17.5 billion in sales in the US in the year ending April 2014.
As well as this, experts believe plus-sized is still an untapped opportunity for retailers, as in many countries, including the US and New Zealand, the average woman is a size 14.
In the US, perhaps the plus-sized clothing brand most famous for its marketing tactics is Lane Bryant.
It made headlines for its provocative campaign that had the tagline “I’m No Angel” – in other words, a dig at Victoria’s Secret and its slim models that are dubbed “Angels”.
It also launched a #PlusIsEqual campaign that went viral last year, taking out a two-page ad in Vogue and hosting a rally in Times Square, New York.
Its most recent campaign is called “This Body” and shows models expressing their positive affirmations about their bodies openly to the world, via their handwritten t-shirts.
“This body is made for glamour,” reads one, while another says, “This body is made for rocking denim”.
“Our goal is to shift the perception from Lane Bryant as a store for plus-size clothing, to Lane Bryant as an inspiring brand for empowered, beautiful, and confident women,” CEO and president Linda Heasley told Refinery 29.
K&K caters for customers up to a size 26, but its brand message is similar to that of Lane Bryants.
National retail manager Rachel Korpus told The Register last year that the company is inclusive of everyone, big or small.
“If you’re size 10 or 26, at K&K you can just look as good with an on-trend look for the season whatever size you are. We’re not discriminating about size, our focus is on fashion and fit,” Korpus said.