While there are more and more brands that are listening to their plus size customers and including them in their collections, campaigns, and overall brand image, there are still a lot of gaps in the fashion world when it comes to total size inclusivity. One of which — which always blimps underneath the radar — is shoes. But one shoe brand is helping to close the gap. Jeffrey Campbell is launching a size inclusive capsule collection — and it's a big deal.
While it's great to see stores expand their plus size lines to give people a variety of beautiful summer dresses, plunging necklines, and flirty shorts, all of that comes to a standstill if a person doesn't have equally stylish shoes to pair the looks with. And the size inclusive shoe market is not great. If you have wide feet or thick calves, your options shrink down to a fraction of what's usually available. Which makes you feel ignored, invisible, and like you're not "allowed" to take part in the fun side of fashion.
Not only is Jeffrey Campbell consciously making space for his plus size fans in the fashion industry through his new shoe line, but his fashion-forward and creative designs will give them playful and out-of-the-box pieces to experiment with. These aren't just going to be utilitarian sneakers and black ballet flats.
The brand announced its five-piece capsule collection on its Instagram page, sharing that the campaign and line will hit stores in just a couple of weeks, and it will be in collaboration with curve model La’shaunae Steward.
"Five shoes made to fit your every curve. When we say our shoes are made for everybody we truly mean everyBODY. Stay tuned," the caption read.
Steward is a 21-year-old curve model and body positivity activist who made it onto the map last year when one of her OOTD posts were body shamed. But rather than letting the negative comments bring her down, Steward kept posting her looks and experimenting with her style, which led her to receive wave after wave of fans and supportive comments. Fast-forward one year later, and she's not only collaborating with Jeffrey Campbell on a shoe line, but she was part of the reason why the much-loved brand took on the venture in the first place.
According to Steward, her friend Sanam Sindh is the creative director for the brand, which led Campbell to gift Steward a pair of boots — but they were too snug. Sindh agreed that boots were often too snug on her as well, and that's where the idea to create a more inclusive collection began to evolve. At that moment it clicked that not everyone has a small, svelte foot.
For Steward, it was important to change the narrative that was attached to plus size options. "Plus size stuff and designs are 90% always lazy, and designers treat us like last options," Steward shares with Bustle. "Most of the wide fit shoes and boots out for us right now are shaped so weird and ugly I don’t even understand the concept."
This lack of imagination is hurtful to the shoppers who don't fit into straight sizes. "It makes me feel irrelevant to designers. They can put so much effort into designing anything for smaller people, so why cant I have that?" Stewart asks. "They’re basically indirectly telling plus sized people that we don’t deserve to have a style."
While there aren't any details yet on what the shoe collection will look like or how much it will cost or when it's dropping, Steward is already excited to see all the looks from other plus sized people who decide to get any of the shoes from the collection. "We’re always left out of really attractive shoes because they’re to small or too tight, and this is a game changer!"