Reese Witherspoon is embracing body positivity with her latest retail venture.
By joining forces with US plus-size clothing brand Eloquii, the actress and entrepreneur is launching a new clothing line for women between US sizes 12 (UK size 16) and 28 (UK size 32) as part of her lifestyle brand Draper James.
After founding the popular brand in 2015 - which sells a mixture of fashion items, accessories and home furnishings - fans urged Witherspoon to champion body inclusivity by producing clothes in a wider range of sizes.
Responding to her customers’ feedback, the Big Little Lies star spent a year working out the logistics, eventually choosing to collaborate with Eloquii to produce the 30-piece collection of fashion-forward garments designed specifically for curvier women, including items such as pencil skirts, sundresses and belted shorts.
The clothes boast a colourful palette, in line with Draper James' sunny aesthetic, complete with floral patterns, bold stripes and kitsch slogans such as "bless your heart".
Starting the collection seemed like a natural move for Witherspoon, who regularly talks about female empowerment and inclusivity in the media.
“Nobody thinks about the emotional process that women go through when they try on clothes,” she told Glamour.
“I think about it every time we do a fitting with a model.”
Inspired by the small-town environment in New Orleans where she grew up, the actress explained she didn’t just want the collection to appeal to women of all sizes, but of all backgrounds too.
“The people in those communities can be fashion-forward too, but they’re not really celebrated,” she said.
Most of the items are reasonably-priced, starting at $55 (£40) and going up to $225 (£184).
Given that retailers who use a more diverse mix of models in their campaigns are soaring ahead of their competitors, the move to launch a plus-size range is as wise an idea in financial terms as it is in representation terms.
When US lingerie label Aerie started casting plus-size models such as Iskra Lawrence in its campaigns in 2014, sales jumped year-on-year, reports Marketwatch.
H&M’s decision to cast Ashley Graham in a 2016 campaign and a subsequent fashion show also paid off, with the high street giant seeing a seven per cent rise in sales in the first half of that year.
Clearly, Witherspoon is onto something.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies