Cotton On launches curve range

Cotton On has become the latest fashion brand to make its offering more inclusive by launching a new collection designed specifically for women size 16 to 24.

A year in the making, the Cotton On Curve range launched on Monday in direct response to customer demand, according to the brand’s creator Bianca Kaoustos.

“We have been developing the range over the last year making sure that every pattern, fabric and technicality of each piece was deliberate,” Kaoustos said.

“The range offers the signature Cotton On trends with a curve girl fit so that she not only feels comfortable, but is also on trend.”

This approach is very much in line with the demands of today’s plus-size customer, according to IBISWorld senior analyst Kim Do.

“Plus-size consumers are looking for more stylish clothing that’s up-to-date with new trends,” Do told IRW in an interview earlier this year.

“Historically, they were happy to shop at your typical department store like Big W or Myer – they were the only stores that offered plus size clothing.

“But as there have been more stores over the past five years, consumers have become more demanding in the styles and the fit that they should expect from plus-size clothing retailers.”

Cotton On Curve jeggings, for instance, feature tailored waist bands, longer zips for an easier fit and extra room in the thigh. Its t-shirts come in at the waist and slightly flair at the hips to follow the natural body silhouette.

But while customers may welcome these thoughtful design decisions, they may think twice when they see the price bump that comes along with them. Prices displayed on the retailer’s website on Monday showed that Curve jeans and jeggings were around $10 more than similar products in Cotton On’s standard range.

Customers called out Peter Alexander earlier this year for charging more for garments in bigger sizes. It’s a contentious issue and a complicated one. As Peter Alexander pointed out at the time, it uses different patterns and more fabric for its extended sizes, and has lower production runs, all of which contribute to higher prices.  

A growing market

The launch of Cotton On Curve comes as obesity levels are rising in Australia, and this is driving a growing market for plus-size clothing.

According to IBISWorld research, revenue growth in the industry is expected to grow at an annualised 3 per cent over the five years through 2022-23.

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