84°F
weather icon Clear

At MAGIC, fashions debut for plus-size, older women, gender-fluid

Updated August 14, 2019 - 1:22 pm

Strolling through the three halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center at this year’s MAGIC convention, one might think that styles abound for all consumers.

But three panelists at Monday’s seminar on “Inclusivity in Fashion” got their start when they grew increasingly frustrated with how few options existed for them.

“In 2012, I realized that I wasn’t seeing anyone who looked like me in fashion,” says Rachel Richardson, owner of fashion blog Lovely in LA. “I started posting photos showing that you can be stylish regardless of size.”

Richardson joined Sonia Lovett, a fashion influencer for women over 50, and Rob Smith, who owns a genderless clothing boutique, to discuss the ways they’d like the fashion industry to change how it designs, produces and markets clothes.

For the three panelists, the fashion industry offers precious little for people who wear plus sizes, or for older, stylish women, or for people who don’t feel comfortable wearing clothing designed exclusively for men or women.

Two years ago, Sonia Lovett’s daughter encouraged her to start a fashion blog.

“Women were saying they didn’t feel heard, nothing on Instagram was speaking to them,” says the 67-year-old. Women her age feel left out when trying to shop for stylish clothes, and for businesses, that mistake is costly.

“Women 50 and over have a lifetime of savings and are starting to spend,” she says. “To ignore women who say ‘I want cool stuff or sexy lingerie or to stay on trend,’ is to miss out on a wealthy demographic.”

Richardson faces a similar problem when shopping. Most plus-size garments come in unattractive prints or cover her up rather than show off her body, she says. “A lot of times, plus is one category. So your 19-year-old cousin and your 50-year-old aunt are shopping in the same section,” she says. “I want to see the same pieces in plus sizes that are available in straight sizes.”

Women’s wholesale clothing brand Hayden Los Angeles is one of the few brands that carry identical styles in plus sizes. Sales manager Nick Yeum pointed out two blue, tie-dyed tops with high side hems, identical except one is a small and the other is 1X.

The brand carries its most popular styles in regular and plus sizes, Yeum says. “Plus customers want to be fashionable and not always (wear) tunics and looser styles. So we have the exact same one, but in plus (sizes).”

The brand also carries black, sleeveless dresses and rose-gold sequin miniskirts in a full range of sizes for women of all shapes.

After 30 years holding executive roles in retail, Rob Smith left the business to pursue his own concept: The Phluid Project. He opened a brick-and-mortar store in New York where inventory is displayed without a designated men’s or women’s section.

“I started looking at how binary this world is,” says Smith. “ I was looking for this space that might go fluid. Gender-free is for queer folks or trans folks or customers who want to shop at a brand that is more purpose-driven.”

The Phluid Project, named with a “ph” for balance, carries graphic t-shirts with statements, denim, tops and outerwear that can be worn by anyone across the gender spectrum.

Women’s footwear brand Seychelles debuted at MAGIC a slice of its upcoming spring collection, Seychelles for All. The assortment includes a unisex all-leather slide with a comfortable footbed and a variety of colors and textures across the strap, and a unisex sneaker in seven pastel suede and leather colors.

“We saw that men were wearing some of our booties and realized that we didn’t have extended sizing for larger shoe sizes,” says Mara Bartholomew, digital marketing manager for Seychelles. “We decided to do this collection because … our customers want more options.”

Contact Janna Karel at jkarel@reviewjournalcom. Follow @jannainprogress on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Entertainment Videos
Juan’s Flaming Fajitas in Las Vegas celebrates National Fajita Day
Cook Ruben Fuentes and general manager Taylor Pulliam of Juan’s Flaming Fajitas in Las Vegas prepare steak and shrimp fajitas with the restaurant’s signature fiery treatment. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pasta Shop Ristorante serves a watermelon-shrimp salad
Pasta Shop Ristorante & Art Gallery in Henderson serves a summer salad that combines watermelon with greens, feta and shrimp. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Factory Kitchen in Las Vegas makes classic affogato
Jorge Luque, pastry chef at The Factory Kitchen at The Venetian in Las Vegas, makes affogato with two simple ingredients - house-made gelato and fresh espresso. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review Journal with image from The Factory Kitchen)
The Cereal Killerz Kitchen serves over 100 cereals
Christopher Burns, owner of The Cereal Killerz Kitchen at Galleria at Sunset mall in Henderson, makes a Milk & Cookies Shake from his more than 100 varieties of cereal. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer in Las Vegas makes a State Fair CrazyShake
Bianca Zepeva, a shaker at Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer at The Venetian in Las Vegas, makes a State Fair CrazyShake with a kettle corn rim, caramel, corn-based ice cream, popcorn brittle, crushed kettle corn, sprinkles and a cherry. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal)
Balboa Pizza Company makes Thai peanut chicken wings
Irma Perez, kitchen manager at Balboa Pizza Company at The District at Green Valley Ranch in Henderson, near Las Vegas, brines chicken wings for 24 hours before roasting and frying them and finishing them in various styles such as Thai peanut. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal)
New Venetian pool deck
Final touches are currently being added to the hotel’s main tower pool deck, which consists of five pools. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who is Vegas Vic? (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada State Museum Director Dennis McBride explains the origins of the Vegas icon.
Slater’s 50/50 in Las Vegas serves a 4-pound Big Island Feast Burger
Cindy Sun, general manager of Slater’s 50/50 in Las Vegas, makes the Big Island Feast Burger with 2 1/2 pounds of the house bacon/beef blend, Napa-cilantro slaw, six slices of American cheese, a can of grilled Spam, six slices of chargrilled pineapple, four fried eggs and a drizzle of teriyaki and serves it with macaroni salad. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Get a first look of MSG Sphere construction in Las Vegas
Representatives of The Madison Square Garden Company give the first glimpse of progress Tuesday of the under-construction MSG Sphere — a first-of-its-kind performance venue with high-tech audio and visual capabilities.
Shark Week cupcakes at Freed’s Bakery in Las Vegas
Brittnee Klinger, a cake decorator at Freed’s Bakery in Las Vegas, makes Shark Week cupcakes with ocean-blue buttercream, fondant fins and a blood-red strawberry filling. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Fans and friends recall Elvis opening in Las Vegas
Fifty years ago on July 31st 1969, Elvis Presley opened at the International hotel in Las Vegas. He went on to do 837 consecutive sold-out shows at the property.
Hot peach cobbler at Beaumont’s Southern Kitchen at Texas Station
Michael Ross, room chef/pitmaster at Beaumont’s Southern Kitchen at Texas Station in Las Vegas, makes peach cobbler by baking peaches in a cast-iron pan with batter and crumble, then topping with Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream and bourbon-caramel sauce. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Water Grill opens at The Forum Shops at Caesars in Las Vegas
Water Grill, from a 30-year-old California company opening its first Las Vegas location, specializes is fresh seafood including 16 types of oysters. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cat's Meow comes to Las Vegas
New Orleans-based karaoke chain opens new location in Neonopolis. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making the Loco Moco Breakfast Burger at Broken Yolk Cafe in Las Vegas
Manny Menina, line cook at Broken Yolk Cafe in Las Vegas, stacks 8 ounces of beef, 2 strips of bacon, hash browns, caramelized onions and 2 fried eggs on 4 King’s Hawaiian slider buns to make the Loco Moco Breakfast Burger. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
SecretBurger at China Poblano at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Carlos Cruz, executive chef of Jose Andres’ China Poblano at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, makes the SecretBurger off-menu, one-night-only ‘All Quacked Up’ with a kimchi pancake, Peking duck, house-made hoisin sauce, a fried duck egg, pickled micro-vegetables, caviar and gold flakes and serves it with a Stillwater Artisanal Ale. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Famous Blue Angel statue commemorated in downtown Las Vegas mural
The 16-foot tall Blue Angel statue that stood above the Blue Angel Motel for six decades is featured in a mural spanning three walls at a downtown Las Vegas building. James Stanford designed the “A Phalanx of Angels Ascending" mural based on his photography, and Cliff Morris painted the mural at 705 Las Vegas Blvd. North, near the Neon Museum. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Making Castle Frites at the new Frites at Excalibur
Tom McGrath, district manager/executive chef at Frites at the Excalibur in Las Vegas, tops his beef-tallow fries like a loaded baked potato - with white and yellow cheddar, sour cream, bacon and chives. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hello Kitty Cafe on Las Vegas Strip - VIDEO
The Hello Kitty Cafe opens Friday, July 12th, 2019, between New York, New York and Park MGM on the Las Vegas Strip. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Amano Las Vegas' Fat Baby Sandwich
Chef Jason Weber of Amano Las Vegas has created a sandwich stuffed with pasta, and it's a hit. (Mat Luschek / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A class at Melissa Coppel Chocolate and Pastry School in Las Vegas.
Melissa Coppel, who teaches classes in various countries around the world, attracts students from far and wide to her eponymous school in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Havana Lobster at Boteco in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Marcus Fortunato, co-owner of Boteco in Las Vegas, learned to make Havana Lobster from the chef at El Figaro, a favorite of former Cuban President Fidel Castro.
Chef Gustav Mauler Is retiring
Las Vegas chef Gustav Mauler announces his retirement on Sunday, June 30, 2019.
Bellagio Conservatory unveils Italian summer exhibit
The Bellagio's Conservatory & Botanical Gardens have opened the gates to its summer display. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
A.D. Hopkins on his debut novel
Veteran journalist introduces readers to “The Boys Who Woke Up Early.” (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Seven Magic Mountains restoration complete
Artist Ugo Rondinone’s iconic Seven Magic Mountains receives a complete painting restoration in June 2019.
Making off-the-menu bean curd rolls at Mr. Chow in Las Vegas
Senior chef tournant Cesar Laran has created secret bean curd rolls at Mr. Chow at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. To make them, he rolls bean curd sheets around a filling of carrots, celery and shiitake mushrooms, then smokes them with oolong tea and sugar. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making Bread Pudding French Toast at Esther’s Kitchen in Las Vegas
James Trees, chef/owner of Esther’s Kitchen in Las Vegas, slices house-made blueberry bread pudding, coats it in egg yolks and mascarpone, fries it and tops it with spiced walnuts, Lyle’s Golden Syrup and creme fraiche. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Celine Dion closes 1,141-show residency on Las Vegas Strip - VIDEO
Hear from Celine Dion about her 16 years on the Las Vegas Strip and what the future has in store for her. (Caesars Entertainment)
THE LATEST
Lady Gaga, Regina King brighten red carpet at Oscars

Regina King brought Old Hollywood alive on the Oscar red carpet Sunday in a romantic white gown with a touch of sparkle and a long train, while Jennifer Lopez stunned in silver adorned with mirror shards and Lady Gaga sported one of the worlds largest yellow diamonds.

Burberry apologizes for noose knot on hoodie

The chief executive and chief creative officer of luxury fashion powerhouse Burberry have apologized for putting a hoodie with strings tied in the shape of a noose on their London Fashion Week runway.

Grammys: Fashion revealed sparkles, sequins and statement hats

Sparkly, studded and strutting in designer looks, the Grammys parade of often out-there fashion kicked off in a downpour Sunday, but that didnt dampen spirits as the music industrys best showed off their myriad outfits.