Ashley Stewart Kendall + Kylie Collection recently dropped and the plus community is talking all about it. Opinions of those in favor or against have been very vocal on social media. However, people’s distaste for the collaboration seemed to be more pervasive.
Here’s the Conversation
It’s no secret that Kendall and Kylie are apart of the Kardashian brand even if their last name is Jenner. The Kardashians and Jenners as an entity are not known for being plus body advocates. None of their brands really cater to the plus body. The slight exception to that rule is Khloe Kardashian’s Good American Jeans brand that is inclusive up to a size 24.
It’s no surprise that the release of the Ashley Stewart Kendall + Kylie Collection has given many people reason to pause because of the very obvious physical reasons.
On the Bandwagon
It’s no secret that plus bodies are the wave right now whether we’re speaking from a fashion industry or entertainment industry standpoint. Being a “plus size” is trendy right now; specifically if you’re on the smaller end of the plus size spectrum like the Ashley Grahams and Tabria Majors of the world.
With artists such as Lizzo being front and center; it’s an amazing time to be alive when we consider how plus bodies have typically been viewed in entertainment. Brands are catching on to how lucrative the plus body wagon is and they’re cashing in and capitalizing on this bandwagon.
More and more we’re seeing straight size brands trying to tip toe into the plus side of things. The Loft launched their plus line last year, and Anthropologie recently launched a plus line earlier this year in the spring.
Here’s Why the Ashley Stewart Collaboration is Controversial
Personal disclaimer: I haven’t really been a patron of Ashley Stewart for a long time. I haven’t been able to fit their clothes because for a long time they didn’t carry extended sizes. As of last year they began carrying extended sizes, but I’ll be the first to tell you it’s not true to size. But I digress.
Ashley Stewart has been a staple in the plus community for a while; especially the black plus community. Ashley Stewart was innovative when they launched because they were offer more stylish options than their competition at the time and at an affordable price.
Ashley Stewart is well known for sponsoring plus community events and even launching a model search Finding Ashley which promotes and highlights plus bodies as models. Ashley Stewart is a respected brand in the plus community regardless of whether you shop with them or not.
To see them launch the Ashley Stewart Kendall + Kylie Collection feels like the proverbial slap in the face.
With so many iconic plus size women out there (yes despite the misinformation Loni Love spewed); it leaves many to wonder why they’d partner with a brand that has no real vested interest in the plus community.
Here’s the Problem
I think most of know that Kendall & Kylie are business women, they’ve been groomed by Kris Jenner the G.O.A.T of making business deals. We know they could not care less about plus size fashion, plus size bodies or the need for inclusiveness. They’re here for the money.
They dropped the Ashley Stewart Kendall + Kylie Collection without so much as a peep on either of their social media sites, no advertisement, no build no anything. Why? They don’t care. They are completely reliant on the fact that Ashley Stewart is a plus brand and can reach their intended audience to do their bidding.
Ashley Stewart feels like it may be trying to shift the feel and the look of their brand. Perhaps their goal is to change the perception. I think it’s clear and obvious they’re also in it for the money but there were a bunch of different ways to do that without alienating your core demographic.
While the topic is interesting or even polarizing in the plus community; it’s not high up on my list of things to care about. The reality is, brands will be brands and brands will do what they need to in order to make money.
I’ve been existing in a body that has little to no representation in the fashion industry or otherwise. Most stores don’t even cater to me because I’m beyond a 26. In short, this launch doesn’t impact me. It’s been amusing to watch the chatter but at the end of the day, consumers will determine whether this launch is successful or not.
The reality is, the plus community still wants to be included in mainstream fashion brands. So for many this Ashley Stewart Kendall + Kylie Collection feels like a win. There will continue to be what we consider odd collaborations because money. Most companies are going to make the moves they think will make them more money.
So folks can be upset, but the only way to make an impact is not to spend dollars.
I don’t know how this will pan out with Ashley Stewart Kendall + Kylie Collection. Maybe it will be a success, maybe it won’t. The plus community has bigger issues to be worried about besides how these brands get their money; starting with inclusion for ALL plus bodies and not just some.
That’s a conversation for another day.
Until Next Time Ya’ll,