Oct 8, 2021
LISTEN AND LEARN, People: This week on The Fashion Crimes Podcast, Holly talks real fashion news, for real women, who have real bodies.
Fashion Friends, meet Shanna Goldstone. She is the founder of Pari Passu, a STUNNING contemporary fashion line that is breaking the mold – literally – in the plus-size fashion world. In fact, she has smashed all of the current molds - and built 3 of her own damn real-world versions - because “One size style does not fit all.”
Follow along as Shanna tells Holly about her fashion journey from consulting with retail companies to helping actress Melissa McCarthy launch her clothing line Seven7. Shanna hadn’t even worked in the plus-size fashion space before, but, being the market researcher that she is, she dug in deep. And what she found was incredibly disturbing, and yet something all women already know: most women of the world are not the size or shape that fashion designers and stores create and sell. Sorry, this is not okay.
In fact, like many of us, Shanna assumed that she would be able to research plus-size fashions for Melissa’s new line by simply going to all the normal retailers - from Walmart and Target, to Lane Bryant, and Neimans and Saks. And guess what she found? NOTHING.
It didn’t matter how high or low the price point was, if she wanted to see a size 14 or above, it was either hidden in the back or they didn’t have it. It was unbelievable that clothing wasn’t readily available for sizes 0 to 30 and beyond.
Question? Just how in the world are 68% of the American female population - who are a size 14 and above - actually supposed to purchase clothing, let alone find stylish fashions? Boy, do we get hot under the collar for a minute or two about that statistic! (Holly is embroidering that stat onto a pillow as we speak.)
But wait! It gets better! Or worse. Shanna had a second big ‘A-HA’ moment when she started looking at how clothing is actually made. She is not a designer by trade, but did go to F.I.T. where she studied fashion marketing. While sitting in meetings with Melissa’s designers for the new plus-size line, she realized they were utilizing forms that were design size – a size 8! #RUDE #SERIOUSLY
Yes, Ma'am. She said that. Design meetings for a new plus-size line built on size 8 forms.
Just so ‘ya know, a size 8 mannequin or dressmaker form doesn't represent a real person with real curves. It looks nothing like your body, it doesn't even look like a human woman. It's basically a slightly hourglass form, with little boobs and no tush. So how are you gonna get curvy out of that?
And thus, the epiphany: Tons of lines are made like this. So, Shanna set out trying to figure out why you wouldn’t just use a dressmaker form that looks like the size of the customer you're designing for? Again, #duh!
Fast forward: her market research brain led her to some proprietary data from a study of 3D scans of over 100,000 people for other industries. For instance, airlines need to know how big – or small! – to make airline seats.
Shanna purchased a slice of this data, analyzing it to match the demographic criteria for plus-size women. Using those measurements, she then built not one, but THREE different dressmakers forms in three different shapes. Because again, one SHAPE does not fit all.
And then Pari Passu was born. Beautifully designed contemporary clothing created to fit the shape of a woman, not the size.
But let’s get back to Holly. (Finally!) Because the universe is an amazing thing. Holly was looking for stylish plus-size fashions for one of her clients, she found Shanna through a friend - and GUESS WHAT??
If you are a fan of this show – and who isn’t – you know that Holly went to summer camp with our friend of the podcast Jessica Kupferman – and OMG - Shanna went there, too!! #bestdayever
So, of course Shanna is brilliant and talented and amazing, and now our new BFF. We gush over her designs, and Holly tells us how she bought a shit-ton of items for her client (which you can see on our Pinterest Board). Holly also shares a gob of unsolicited design ideas for Pari Parru, because, Holly. notsurprised
Anyway, you gotta listen to this episode whether you are plus size or not. It's for all women who have had a hard time finding clothes that fit. Pari Passu is an amazing brand that supports women who want the same choices as straight size women. #hellsyes
The Fashion Crimes Podcast
Holly Katz Styling