Lena Dunham Loves Punyus & Here's Everything You Need To Know About The Tokyo Based Shop
In one of her latest Instagram posts, Lena Dunham has celebrated her discovery of the Tokyo-based brand Punyus. In the photo caption, Dunham calls Punyus founder and famous comedian Naomi Watanabe a "radical." After all, she's producing plus size clothes for Japanese women in a culture where "petite and cute seem synonymous," as Dunham wrote. Although the brand isn't technically a plus size one by most American or European standards — with its largest size (6L) translating to a U.S. 16 — the availability of these sizes in Tokyo and Japan as a whole is definitely revolutionary.
Most Japanese brands actually operate under a "one size" rule (i.e. a regulated size that should fit most Japanese women). This is obviously mega limiting for folks who are larger, however, which is why Punyus is just so special. Punyus labels itself as an "all size," brand that's going against the body shaming "one size" system. All of its clothing comes not just in larger sizes, but in the smaller ones, too.
Even if it wasn't for Punyas' attempt to be a size inclusive shopping destination, the brand would still be a refreshing take on Japanese fashion anyway, edging away from the lace and frills of Lolita for a fun, quirky aesthetic. The Lazy Oaf-esque designs wouldn't be out of place anywhere in the world. Thanks to Lena Dunham's intro to Punyas, she's opened up the clothing store to the Western world and I'm personally ready to learn everything I can about Watanabe's fashion line. In fact, I already started.
1. Punyas Was Created By Naomi Watanabe
Naomi Watanabe is a well known Japanese comedian, widely beloved for her on point Beyoncé impression. As a plus size superstar, Watanabe started Punyus to provide the kinds of clothes that she herself would want to wear.
2. The Clothing Goes Up To A Japanese Size 6L/U.S. Size 16/U.K. Size 20
Although arguably not a super plus size-friendly brand in the states or the U.K., Punyus definitely caters to the majority of Japanese women. Watanabe's choice in sizing comes down to culture. Japanese women often struggle to shop outside of childrenswear in Western countries, so it makes perfect sense that Watanabe's interpretation of "plus" would be a smaller size than yours or mine.
In fact, the average waist size of women in Japan is about 28 inches, where the average American woman's waist is 36.5 inches. In a culture where women are, on average, quite petite, it arguably becomes even more important to not forget the ladies who differ from the norm.
3. Larger Shoe Sizes Are Available Too
Punyus doesn't just cater to fuller-figured humans in terms of waist, tummy, bum, or boob measurements, but in feet as well. Its shoes go up to 26.5 (a U.S. 10 or U.K. 8), which is a much larger size than often catered to in Japan (often a U.S. 8 or U.K. 6).
4. Prices Are Affordable
Shopping issues for many plus size gals around the world don't just come down to finding cute clothing that fits, but affording cute clothing that fits (since many plus options are sold at a higher price point than their straight size counterparts). This bag, for example, clocks in at less than $30.
5. The Styling Is Amazing
The clothes themselves are incredibly cool, but the brand and styling behind it are just as brilliant. In each season's lookbook, there is usually a diverse casting of models and sizes shown — with Watanabe often joining in — and the styling sells not just the clothes, but the entire fun-filled aesthetic of the brand.
6. International Shipping FTW
Thanks to tenso.com, we don't just have to drool over the clothes at Punyus. International customers are welcome, too! The nifty site also allows you to purchase clothing and items from other Japanese stores and get them delivered to your door.
While it's a shame that these incredible threads aren't available in sizes larger than a 16, there's no doubt that Naomi Watanabe is making magic. She's creating visibility and rad fashions for Japanese women who never really had alternative, trendy clothing options in their size before, and that's pretty something.