Fashion blogger Nicolette Mason is sick and tired of women being excluded from fashion. It’s a theme she drives home in her Marie Claire column “Big Girl in a Skinny World” and on her own eponymous style blog. Now, Mason has her sights set on dressing women (and all women) with a collaboration with ModCloth, launching in October. The eleven-piece collection will be available in sizes XS to 4X,which is reason enough to be excited. That it’s seriously cute on top of that (think items like pink polka dot dresses, tuxedo jackets, and girly circle skirts), is reason to celebrate.
“Susan [Gregg Koger], who’s the co-founder of ModCloth and I actually connected on Instagram,” Mason told us, of how the collaboration came to be. “We both have pugs and had an instant bond….we met up in New York and went to brunch, and ended up hanging out all day, and casually the idea of partnering in some capacity came up. After, we had concrete discussions about what that would mean, and this idea of doing an all-size collaboration came up.”
A graduate of Parsons School of Design, Mason dove into the collaboration with a hands-on approach beginning in January. “I started with mood boards, and getting inspiration, and had this idea of a modern girl gang—grown-up pink ladies, John Waters [was an inspiration]— just this really badass groups of girls, who have very different aesthetics, but are all very empowered. I then started creating sketches based on different archetypes in the girl gang, and took those to ModCloth’s private label design team who were really amazing at translating my ideas…From there, we made prototypes of samples, there was editing and fine-tuning, and then we shot the lookbook.”
One thing that makes this collaboration stand out from the pack is the range of sizes it will offer—this isn’t just a plus-size line—an idea that was key for Mason. “My platform, certainly on my blog, is that fashion and style are for everyone. This collection isn’t just about empowering plus-size women, it is about empowering everyone. Yes, the plus-size market is underserved, a point I have been working to drive home for years, but the idea that style is for everyone is just as important.”
Still, she’s well aware that plus-size women in particular, are hungry for fashion forward options. “Fashion is so segmented, and yet most girls and women are looking to the same fashion trends,” she said. “The idea that women who are a size 12, a size 14 and up, won’t have to wear a slightly modified version of something is really exciting.”
As for Mason’ s take on why the fashion industry has been so slow to serve the plus-size market, despite an obvious void, she shared: “It really is a multifaceted problem, and it’s impossible to name just one reason. It’s a perfect storm of culture, education gaps with fashion designers just not being trained to design for this market, media and press, with so many magazines not even covering the plus size market.” Still, Mason is hopeful change is on the horizon. “There has just been so much momentum around body diversity and inclusivity recently.”
As for one thing this style setter is most looking forward to with the release of her collection? Seeing real women, on the street, wearing clothes that she’s designed. “It’s going to be beyond surreal for me. I’m really looking forward to it.”
We second that! The 11-piece line launches October 6, so mark your calendars now.