Prabal Gurung’s recent collaboration with Lane Bryant was one of the most buzzed-about launches last year. The chic, affordable designer collection became one of very few that exist for women over size 12.
But in an industry still rife with exclusion, the news of his foray into the plus-size market received an unfortunate and unsurprising response.
Gurung detailed the blowback while speaking on a panel Monday night for the premiere of “Straight/Curve,” a documentary about body image and the fashion industry. He admitted there was “snickering” in the high fashion world when he first announced he was designing for Lane Bryant.
One exchange happened when an acquaintance asked Gurung why he was “making clothes for fat people.”
When she saw his reaction, the woman claimed her comment was a joke, Gurung said. But the designer, who featured plus-size models in his own Fall 2017 fashion show, didn’t let the remark slide. Instead, his response cemented his status as one of the most badass, groundbreaking designers around.
“I said to her, ‘Words have power, it impacts people,’” he told the crowd. “And I said, ‘It’s because of people like you that I wanted to do this, because I want to make sure that the woman I’m designing for, through Lane Bryant’s platform, feels that she belongs, that she is part of our world.’”
He added that he insisted launch story for the collaboration run in Vogue and be shot by famed fashion photographers because he “wanted to have an elevated conversation” about the need for more inclusivity.
“I truly believe if you want change happening... you need to speak up,” he said.
Bravo to Gurung for sticking to his guns, continuing to use his platform to include all women, and for standing up for himself, too.
Skip to the 44:25 mark in the video above to hear the story.