The plus-size fashion market is a big industry that is getting bigger, thanks in part to the likes of Roseanne Barr and Oprah Winfrey.
In the past dozen years, it has grown from $2 billion to $10 billion annually, according to the Plus Designer's Council, and 1990 retail sales are expected to increase 25 to 35 percent over the previous year. The council is made up of 12 apparel firms specializing in the better, bridge or designer apparel for sizes 14 and up.Most people say the movement in the plus market began in 1977 when new firms making moderate garments for women size 14 and up took off.
"I really feel the momentum of the moderate plus market was a major factor in making designer merchandise the fastest-growing area in plus today," says Judith Ann Egan, president of a plus-size company of the same name.
"But everything helped, from the acceptability of large-size actors and actresses like Roseanne, Delta Burke, Oprah, John Candy and John Goodman, to our own first lady, Barbara Bush, being a plus size. Everyone knows she's a size 14 - and proud of it."