Hey friends! Happy Humpday – hope you’re all doing well?
I’m tired but for good reasons – I’ve been doing so many cool things recently! With Goodwood Revival this weekend and London Edge the week before, plus an upcoming trip to my mum’s, there’s a lot going on. Hooray for being busy! But today I wanted to bring to you a little review of London Edge, a trade show for alternative brands.
You may of heard of London Edge before, since the brands we all love exhibit their future ranges there, plus it’s used as a meet up for a lot of alternative and pin up people. I can’t say I 100% understand why it’s popular as a meet up point – I go to trade shows as an exhibitor for work, and it’s not the most exciting event.
This year was my first time at London Edge as a blogger – before I’d always have to miss it whilst being at another trade show for work. My main reasoning for going was purely to see what the representation for plus sizes was in brand’s upcoming collections.
The short answer to this; There was none.
It was saddening to see that there was no plus size bodies around. Even in brands I love and support, there was no representation.
I went to the show with Tricia from Hotties Vintage, who specialises in stocking plus-size, vintage style clothing. The first thing we noticed is that there was next-to-no sizing indicated in the programme. Only three brands added it into their short descriptive paragraph. As someone looking for sizes above a UK16 only, this was disappointing. It makes it harder as a potential buyer when you’re looking at 170 brands under one roof but you have to ask each trader their size range.
So it wasn’t easy to know who was or was not dealing with plus size ranges. Only one brand had imagery of a model over a UK12 – Unique Vintage. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see a plus woman in my life.
Very few brands we saw included sizes over a UK18 as their standard sizing. Collectif go up to a UK22 as standard (Although go up to a 26 in the ModCloth ranges). And Love Ur Look (a one-woman business I’d like to add) are working on all their clothing going up to their UK22-24 sizing.
But that’s it for companies going above a UK18 as standard. Two brands out of 170.
I’d pretend I wasn’t surprised to not see my body type represented, but I’m not. Disappointed? Exasperated? Even exhausted? Of course. I’m so bored of this whole conversation, honestly. I don’t want to feel like I need to fight against the world to have clothes in my size every time.
And this is not to diminish how much I appreciate brands who are including plus size ranges, course! I loved that brands I’ve worked with before like Banned and Voodoo Vixen are adding plus sizes to their straight-sizing designs. They were incredibly helpful to also have plus-size specific sections of their stands for ease of viewing, too.
But overall? There was a lack of plus size representation in the whole of this event.
A point where this was glaringly obvious was in London Edge’s programme, which featured a ‘real people’s’ style gallery with no plus bodies. Even more so in the fashion show, which clearly featured non-alternative models in small sizes. Now I get completely that sample sizes are small to reduce costs, but when brands that do feature plus sizing usually have a sample size of 20/22, surely they could of picked just one larger model?
Oh, and don’t get me started on WOC. I think I counted three women of colour in the fashion show AND in brand’s advertising.
I did honestly enjoy my experience at London Edge, however. Being able to meet representatives of brands old and new was great – and meeting some of the friends I’ve made through blogging was also amazing.
I do, however, think that London Edge and the brands that exhibit there can do better.
Did you go to London Edge? What did you think of it? Or what do you think about plus size representation at trade shows? Is it important to you?
To end the post on a slightly higher note, though – I thought I’d pop a photo of my outfit up. I didn’t get enough to do a full style post, but since I put the effort in to wear a hat, it’s worth a tag on the end of the post!