Christian Siriano is a fashion outsider. While some fashion houses choose to dress only sample-size models, the US designer caters to women of all shapes and sizes—and it’s paying off.
Speaking on a panel at the forum 92nd St Y, Siriano, 32, explained how expanding his line to include more sizes made good business sense. “Adding plus sizes to my line tripled my business,” he said. “Why wouldn’t you do that?! Do we not want to triple the business? Do we not think these women should wear our clothes? Do we not want these women to have beautiful things because we’re afraid they’re not beautiful? What is going on here?”
Although his first commission was Victoria Beckham, Siriano—who rose to fame on reality TV show Project Runway—has a track record of dressing diverse bodies for the red carpet. In 2016, when comedian and Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones lamented that designers wouldn’t loan her the film's premiere, Siriano put his hand up.
That first Twitter exchange started a partnership that has seen Siriano dress Jones for other events including the 2017 Emmy Awards and Jones sitting front row at Siriano’s New York Fashion Week show. “I love Leslie and can’t wait to make her something fabulous to wear. I dress and support women of all ages and sizes,” Siriano said after first dressing Jones in 2016.
While Siriano did acknowledge that plus-size designs involve other considerations, such as ordering more fabric, his inclusive ethos is making a change within the industry. “Knowing we have a part in change like that, it’s amazing…but it’s still crazy to me that it’s not the norm,” he said over the weekend.
“We will never charge more for a larger size, because that’s not the right thing to do. The whole point of being a designer is to make people feel good, we’re here to make people look cute in a dress. You want to look cute in a dress and you're a size 26? Why not?!"