When the online retailer 11 Honoré launched back in 2017, its cofounders Kathryn Retzer and Patrick Herning had the unenviable job of convincing many of the world’s fashion houses to do something never done before —creating clothing for sizes 10 and up.
The luxury e-commerce site offers designer fashion to women whose bodies have been ignored by the industry.
“It blew my mind that no one has been designing for these women, taking them into consideration as beautiful as they are,” Laverne Cox, one of the most well-documented models in the show tells Business of Fashion backstage.
“These brands are leaving money on the table by not acknowledging this market.”
Despite the demand for plus-size garments — nearly 70% of American women are size 14 or above — and the growing presence on the runway of 'real bodies', high fashion has remained stubbornly inaccessible to this consumer demographic.
Noticing this, Retzer and Herning swooped.
“If you’re above a certain size and you go to a Barneys and you go to a Neiman’s and you go to a Saks, there are very few options for you. So that’s frustrating,” Herning told D Magazine.
“And then salespeople try to shove you into whatever size they see fit, and that’s demoralizing.”
And it seems that fashion's most diverse duo have had the sense to tap into other forgotten demographics.
Cox, who stole hearts with her portrayal of Sophia Burset in 'Orange Is The New Black', took centre stage at the event, delivering one of the most extraordinary runway walks of all time.
The actress served as the grand finale to the runway show which debuted just two nights ago.
Cox – who is openly transgender – sashayed up and down the catwalk, giving the crowd everything in her wake. The instantly iconic walk was then followed by a storm of silver confetti falling from the ceiling.
The actress was the star atop the tree of an already exquisite show that celebrated size inclusivity and diversity.
11 Honoré bagged celebrity stylist Elizabeth Stewart to style the show, which featured designs from brands like Zac Posen and Prabal Gurung.
Along with Cox, a lineup of diverse models including Candice Huffine and Precious Lee walked the runway.
“In 2019, it’s very, very late to not be inclusive of everyone,” Cox said. “People are done with not being included.”
Putting on the show at the start of Fashion Week was a strategic move – one that will hopefully reap important benefits in times to come.