Plus size fashion gains different spaces in Porto Alegre

Plus size fashion gains different spaces in Porto Alegre

Plus size fashion gains different spaces in Porto Alegre

Fashion can affect many people’s lives. In use, production or sale, a piece of clothing carries a symbolic value. For the plus size public, fashion has increasingly opened its arms. Even if at a slow pace, this market has expanded and is marking territory in Porto Alegre.

In search of extra income, Viviane Lemos started selling lingerie in sizes 36 to 54 to friends and acquaintances. However, she realized that the biggest return came from women wearing bigger numbers.

That’s when she saw an opportunity and created the plus size fashion fair BPSPOA. In its first edition, in 2016, the entrepreneur felt that this project would be special. “It was really cool to see them live the experience that, as fat people, they had never had: arriving in a place and serving everything”, he said. “Ali gave me a strong direction where I should go,” he added.

Viviane created a fair aimed at the plus size public. Photo: Jamile Francetto / Publicity / CP

After ten editions leading the BPSPOA alone, Viviane has had the support of her partner Gisela Fonseca since December 2018, with whom she realized the true value of her project. If at the first fair it received only 100 people and had the help of a few producers, today the public increases with each edition, in addition to being able to work, on average, with 25 exhibitors, including fashion, beauty and gastronomy.

“It’s priceless to be able to promote an event that allows a fat person to live an experience they never had. At the fair, she has the power to choose and this is very liberating. There are many people who tell me that their shopping habits have changed. Just as I changed too. I only buy and consume at the fair. People who accept themselves as fat, can understand that everything is fine with their bodies”, said the organizer.

Professionalization in the plus size market

As well as a physical event to bring together fat girls in Porto Alegre, another project also targeted the plus size market. It is the case of the Tri Plus Squad, formed by Daphne Constantinopolos, Gabriela Garcia, Gizela Fonseca, Juliana Mendes, Letticia Soares and Tali Bezerra, whose objective is to seek greater professionalization in the plus size market in the State through business acceleration.

“The group’s proposal is to develop and apply solutions capable of connecting companies to the fat public, ensuring that it is recognized for its needs and specificities,” said journalist Tali Bezerra.

“This scope includes, for example, advertising actions and the development of products and services with a view to empowerment and anti-ordophobia militancy, as well as the inclusion, especially of fat women who are still separated from consumption and occupation of spaces.”

According to Tali, fat people lack spaces where they don’t feel judged or undervalued by their physical type. “We maintain a WhatsApp group with around 150 fat women from RS. Weekly we have a shared agenda and open events take place. We received messages full of emotion from several members who were ashamed to leave the house and today can take advantage of the companies and friendships created in the group to do so”, he commented.

An ocean of opportunities for brands and entrepreneurs

According to the Brazilian Clothing Association (Abravest), the plus size segment grows 6% a year, with an expected expansion in 2019, reaching up to 10%.

Which, according to Viviane, is an ocean of opportunities for brands and entrepreneurs. “This is super-relevant in the market with a fragile economy as is the case in Brazil today. The consumer market is demanding and lacking in good products and services. It is not enough just to increase the numbering. Fat people don’t want that anymore, they want fashion with quality, good fit and modeling,” he said.

BPSPOA fair takes place in Porto Alegre offering fashion in large sizes. Photo: Dani Verdejo / Disclosure / CP

For Tali, there is a demand from society for this, as fat people were repressed for a long time. “At the same time, the market understood that there is someone who buys and has created needs for this audience, which has responded eagerly. But we still see niche consumers questioning a lot the prices charged by brands as well as the numbering grid, which in Brazil it is quite irregular. We have room to grow and an audience that is still groping the market,” he said.

According to the member of Tri Plus, the fashion market needs to learn to communicate with the plus size public. “It’s common for a brand that manufactures plus-size pieces to choose thin people or, at the most, curvilinear models. How, then, can a consumer create a relationship with the brand to the point of wanting to consume it if he doesn’t know how the clothes would fit on a body like yours? The fear of dealing with the public is also common, with many brands having the habit of using euphemisms, such as chubby, full, big, when the adjective fat can be used without any harm”, he mentioned.

She also says that, in the long run, the market must admit the plus size consumer as part of its common audience, without separate racks or only in specialized stores.

Event aimed at entrepreneurs

In August, Viviane will promote the event “The Plus Size market, beyond Fashion – Creating opportunities, delivering transformation” with the intention of attracting the attention of entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs, investors and students.

“It is our desire to talk to people who are not fat, but who are developing products and services. We want to reframe some concepts, show the opportunities they have within the market and show how investing in this segment can transform the lives of fat people and those who invest.” The event takes place on the 9th, at 8:30 am at Sebrae/RS. The tickets are for sale on this link.

Discover more articles in our categories Fashion & Looks & Luxe & 90s Outfits.

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