For Pakistan’s curvy women, shopping for readymade clothes can be a nightmarish task. Their shopping trips are plagued by lack of options.
But there’s a new superhero in town that is catering to women of all sizes — The Rack Couture. It is a plus size, size inclusive brand that highlights body positivity.
With beauty standards being influenced by the images and messages we see via the mass media, thin women dominate television screens, Instagram feeds and fashion spreads; perpetuating the notion that everyone can fit into the standard sizes of clothing off the rack.
But creative director Zainab Ali knows that is far from true and wanted to work towards fixing the problem. In a conversation with Images, she spoke about how she was a curvy girl herself who couldn't fit into the standard clothing sizes at retail stores in the country.
"I used to think this is a problem that hasn't been addressed, until I realised plus sized clothing isn't a problem anywhere else in the world. You can go to retailers abroad, for example Marks and Spencer, and easily find clothing for all sizes. This facility isn't available in Pakistan."
She then revealed how her brand featured custom couture, promising to make custom-sized clothing for women who need it.
Addressing a popular stereotype, she reiterated how not everyone is fat because of an 'unhealthy lifestyle'.
"If you're wearing size 18 pants, it's not necessary to wear a size 18 blouse too," she said, explaining how people have different bone structures. "Retailers and designers don't want to get into the hassle of understanding body sizes at all. There are only certain sizes available and you have to fit in those."
Thus, while some brands, such as Khaadi, are now featuring plus-sized models and choosing to expand their sizing options, it’s no surprise that most others haven’t caught up and still only have standard sizing.
Endorsing body positivity and size inclusivity, she then explained how her brand was for women unable to find clothes off the rack, with pret, couture, casual and western clothing (stitched on a plus size scale) for women for all shapes and sizes.
"All people on board are body positive and have come together to celebrate a significant part of a woman's life where she's confident," Ali said. The Rack Couture has a new collection launching every three months.
Representation matters and by giving women who don’t fit traditional moulds a more diverse range of clothing options, The Rack Couture is is reinforcing the idea that everyone deserves to look and feel pretty and while we love the them for it, we wish other brands would catch up.