In today’s market, we have a call to action to create universal size ranges from 0-
32 in women’s and 27-54 in men’s. This creates a different approach to design
as a whole. Normally I will advise a company to work with the largest scale body
to see the concept as it plays out in the design. For example, if we are using a
size 2 croquis to design for plus sizes, how do we really know it works?
Oftentimes designers use sketching to rule out concepts rapidly. Sometimes
having a further detailed conversation with a team or client about bad ideas or
poor taste. I have found that for an inexperienced peer or client this may hurt the ego.
3D design and ideation allow me to show the client what may be
problematic. This approach allows a client to see the extent of an idea, and gain
item and ritual.e understanding of what a customer experiences. After all,
not every size looks good in a crop top or culottes. Fashion is also a tangible
item, and ritual.
The 3D render for slim to end size offering. The industry watches runways to gain new ideas or simplify styles for the regular consumer. Clients may come to me with a series of images they have found and assembled, hoping to create their own fashion brand. I tend to be presented with images like the one below. The client usually wants to produce a full range of
sizes or just plus sizes. The dress has its own style but may be costly to produce,
especially based on fabric consumption. The following are concerns the design
may encounter on the RTW level in size. Some are for dressing down the item for
daily wear, and some are cost considerations.
· Empire waistline
· Textile pattern for a larger scale.
Process of Thought
Our process begins with the average small size such as an 8 or 10 sized female
avatar. We look for the shape needed. Then I will use the same approach for the
plus size. Knowing the age of a target market is also applied to define posture,
mass, shape, and breast-hang. The design is then executed for both. The image
1.1 I have the size 8 female. While image 1.2 is a 20w female. Both have
Using the 3D approach can allow the design team or inexperienced designer to have more of an open dialogue about the item and reduce strain to any one person's ego. Within consulting for brands this can be a relationship builder. Let’s review what isn’t working.
Certain aspects of the design were reduced, removed, or less amplified to meet target market retail points. For example, the number of lace bands on the dress skirt is removed. Sleeve volume and detail is reduced. The neckline is not high, but more open. Fabric is similar using a little less lace/ribbon trim.
We can note that maybe the design overall isn’t the best dress & fabric combination, nor is it the most flattering item the consumer may want to spend money on. The design itself may also become quickly dated.
Length: This dress for the plus size (1.2) can look like a young girl should be wearing the short version, and the longer model is frumpy. For the size 8 models, the dress shape fits okay, but the design lacks the tasteful style. Still, the shorter style in the (1.1) might work in the right setting.
Brand identity and quality of the design aren’t worth investment. The context of design may be lost in how much had to be reduced to meet the cost.
Is the item worth space it will consume? Whether a product is on a sales floor or warehouse it is taking up space. The longer a company owns it, the more that is lost.
Timing: Is the time frame for a design still relevant or will this design be dated upon entering the market?
Images used to share with potential consumers and gain their feedback.
Pants and Silhouette
The following image is also like a dress. We wanted to test silhouette and textile
prints. In image 1.4 the wide-leg trouser is very common for summer collections.
Let’s say the client or inexperienced designer really enjoyed a textile because
they love the color range. The client also likes the airy wide leg pant for a
summer item. By executing the textile and pant in both size ranges we can use
similar discussion points to relay concerns.
The silhouette: Offer in the limited size range from XS-L. Item has more fit challenges in the plus-size ranges.
Change pant textile to a solid textile or smaller scale.
Does the textile look like a fashion print or interior design print?
What can we do instead to deliver an item that extends to all sizes they want to offer?
Is the financial investment going to be returned in sales?
6. Is the item quickly dated?
Images Used to Educate
Using images like this can also help customers understand why a brand may only run a style in specific size offerings. It’s one thing to see designs in your mind, and another to see items on the body. Sharing images via blogs or even YouTube videos or product videos can end up paying off in the long run for a company.
This approach to sharing the “ why” of a problem with visual aspects can include the customers, rather than exclude them, and have large windows of poor assumptions. The assumptions consumers have about why a brand excludes a shape in a particular style often plays against the company. We need more visuals and callouts to reduce consumer assumptions. A great example of a brand that has done this is TESLA. Elon Musk has shared reasoning, and also allows for direct line feedback. This open approach has led to rapid evolution and growth in a very challenging market.
How will you educate your consumers on what isnt working?