Addition Elle puts the fashion industry on notice

The retailer questions why an industry that prides itself on bold ideas can't come up with products that include plus-size women.


Plus-sized retailer Addition Elle is throwing the gauntlet down at the fashion industry by saying if it really wanted to create a revolutionary look, it would include all women.

The brand’s latest campaign, “Fashion Can Be Bigger” has the Montreal-based retailer showing off the bold looks people are used to seeing on the runway, including telephone-shaped purses and windshield wiper eye-wear. But it adds that if it really was as creative as it though, it would be able to be inclusive of different body types. Another, shorter video laments the fact that dogs have more clothing options than a plus size woman does.

“It’s about opening the fashion world’s eyes and saying these ladies exist,” says Carmie Foglia, VP of marketing at Addition Elle, adding that the fashion industry has ignored this market segment both in their designs and in their thinking for years. Foglia says Addition Elle has always had had an inclusiveness-first messaging (as has sister brand Penningtons), but this is the first time it’s gone after the industry at large.

Foglia says the campaign is based on consumer insights from focus groups, where women were lamenting that they had always wanted to name brands and wanted to feel part of a broader community.

addition-elleSince 1980, Addition Elle has offered its own plus-sized private label products, but started introducing global brands 18 months ago. Addition Elle has been working hard and collaborating with trusted brands like Levi’s and Champion, which previously did not offer plus-sized women an option but are now featured in the new campaign. Foglia says Addition Elle is giving women options, styles and brand names they’d always sought out but, in some cases, had resigned themselves to missing out on.

The brand offers all ranges and all lifestyles, including footwear, accessories and swimwear, but like every retailer, has to compete with the likes of online and Amazon. Foglia says the brand’s fitting  expertise and working with the plus-sized body in mind, is Addition Elle’s value proposition, in addition to having C-Suite-level employees who are clients and who understand the space.

Paid media for the online campaign is focused on the Greater Toronto Area to build greater awareness of the company in an important market. It’s aimed at young millennials who have come to demand more fashion options and are also more in tune with body acceptance.

In 2017, Addition Elle announced its expansion plans into the U.S. through a partnership with Macy’s and heightened ecommerce capabilities. Parent company Reitmans operates 80 locations for Addition Elle nationally, having given its branding an upgrade earlier this year.

The creative was handled by Grey Canada and Tank.