I was invited to attend Torrid’s Spring Preview Blogger Conference and got to view the upcoming collection for Spring, give feedback on what we would like to see, and give suggestions on things that could be improved. For those of you not familiar with the brand, Torrid is a national chain that specializes in trendy plus size clothing and accessories for sizes 12 and up. I have always been a Torrid fan, since its inception, I think Torrid filled the void of a Junior Plus market and was one of the first to offer on-trend plus size clothing targeted to a younger demographic.
Getting feedback from a bunch of fashion bloggers is tough, it’s virtually impossible to please everybody. A style one person loves another person hates, one person wants cheap disposable fashion and the other wants high end products that are more pricey. I happen to LOVE low rise jeans, they look great on me, but I know that’s not everybody’s cup of tea. However great feedback and suggestions were given by everyone in attendance and it will be interesting to see how the feedback is received and possibly executed…..
My biggest complaint was about the lack of diversity with their plus models. Not only is there a lack of size diversity used in their campaigns, but it’s not ethnically diverse either. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an African American model used in a Torrid campaign or look book. The collective buying power of the African-American population is projected to be at $1.1 trillion by 2015, business wise it makes sense to appeal to as many people as possible and not exclude anyone. To be fair Torrid is not the only plus size brand that has work to do in this department, and maybe the diversity topic deserves an entire blog post to itself. Fortunately the bloggers in attendance were very diverse with different sizes, ethnicities, and ages.
One of the perks of the conference was to be a part of a fab photo shoot! For years plus size brands have been telling us the reason they don’t use larger plus size models is because it doesn’t appeal to their customers and the sales go down, the reason for not using African American models, I’m not sure. During Torrid’s blogger conference we got an opportunity to do a photo shoot in the new arrival clothing. We had the same photographer and studio as the plus models they hire. The lighting looks slightly different but not so much where it’s not an accurate comparison…..So you be the judge?
I’m not looking to down the beautiful plus models they have hired, but rather to show someone my size and complexion is just as capable and marketable!
I think my assets and pizzaz give this striped maxi dress a whole new life!
The second comparison might not be in my favor, as this is a campaign shot that has been photoshopped flawlessly, but I still think I hold my own in the denim cropped jacket and coincidentally doing this same pose.
Overall I had a great time at the bloggers conference and think Torrid’s future is bright! I look forward to seeing their marketing progress to reflect that I am indeed Torrid, as their slogan suggests.
Check out this video with behind the scene footage from our photo shoot!
So what do you think? Do you agree? How do you think I look compared to Torrid’s plus model?