Inclusive is in for activewear.
More fitness brands are expanding their size offerings, designing tank tops, bras and leggings for sizes 1X-3X.
Recent years have seen companies such as Fabletics, Nike and Athleta introduce plus-size clothing.
Now entering the market is Alala. The NYC-based luxury line launches Superbodies, its first size-inclusive collection, Wednesday.
“For as much as the athleisure industry has grown, I think the amount of plus-size offerings — not every retailer is offering that,” Alala founder Denise Lee said. “Especially in our category of luxury activewear, there really aren’t that many options. And I think a lot of the options too are very basic. Just plain leggings, just a plain bra.”
To start, the five-year-old fashion-forward brand is offering 11 of its styles in sizes 1X-3X. They include its signature black leggings and bras, as well as more lounge pieces, like sweatshirts and sweatpants.
“Two-thirds of women in America are a size 14 and above, and so for us, it was an important step for us to take at the right time to expand the size offerings that we have on the site,” Lee said. “We wanted to do it in a very thoughtful, considered way.”
Since starting to develop the collection more than 16 months ago, Alala has sought out feedback from women who wear sizes 1X-3X, holding dozens of fitting sessions and making hundreds of adjustments to the pieces, according to the company. Tweaks included making straps more supportive while keeping fashion-forward details, and adjusting the height of waistbands for comfort and fit.
For Tiffany Oliver, an NYC-based hair and makeup artist who has worked with Alala, the launch means more choice when it comes to plus-size streetwear.
“It’s just really sexy workout clothes,” said Oliver, who fluctuates between a size 14 and 18 and tends to wear Adidas or Nike for working out and athleisure on sets. “It looks more high-end.”
Finding a sports bra that offers enough support on its own is also key.
“I like that I don’t have to wear another one underneath it, which is really challenging for a lot of plus-size women,” Oliver said. “I have to double up [with other brands].”
In addition to the brand’s website, the collection is available at its Upper East Side pop-up. Starting in early November, it will also be sold at Bloomingdale’s 59th Street flagship.
Alala adds new styles every month; beyond the 11 pieces at launch, Lee plans to expand the Superbodies collection as well.
“We’re making a commitment to be size-inclusive every season,” Lee said. “My dream of course one day is to have all our styles have inclusive sizing.”