This New Brand Is One of Fashion Week’s Most Important Launches
It all began when former fashion editor Lauren Chan couldn’t find anything to wear to work. “While my colleagues were often in designer clothes, I mostly wore fast-fashion because that’s all that fit me,” she says.” I didn’t look as put-together and as capable as those colleagues, and I grew sick of the disadvantage I faced because of my size.”
Chan decided it was time to start her own brand, focusing on luxury, tailored workwear for plus-size women. At a private presentation at Showfields during New York Fashion Week, she debuted Henning, a line of power suits, well-constructed trousers, and button-down shirts that didn’t pop open at the buttons. “Henning’s message is to tell women like me that they deserve to be on the same level as everyone else,” Chan explains.
The debut collection for Henning delivers a level of detailing and luxury that plus-size customers aren’t typically offered. There are double-breasted suits and trench jackets that provide the backbone of the classic work wardrobe, but there’s also a blue satin suit and dress that adds some playfulness and a splash of color to the mix.
Most importantly, Chan included additional design elements that are often overlooked in the plus-size market. The inner thigh of the trousers is reinforced with a gel tape to help prevent ripping along the seam from thigh chafing. The pants also feature a hidden elastic waist that provides more room without looking cheap. And as women with full chests know, finding a button-down that doesn’t gape at the buttons is nearly impossible, so Chan added hidden buttons to make sure the shirt doesn’t pull open at the bust.
The collection is currently available in sizes 12-24, but Chan is aiming to make it more personal in the future. “I hope to explore custom sizing as soon as possible. I want Henning to help eliminate clothes that don’t fit—and the feeling that comes with clothes that do. Women above size 12 deserve to focus on kicking ass in whatever they do, not in too-tight pants.”
As Henning’s Instagram points out, 68 percent of American women wear a size 14 or above, but plus-size clothing makes up only 2.3 percent of the selection at major retailers. When you look at the runways of New York Fashion Week, that percentage gets even smaller. For Henning, the stats are a chance to school other brands in what they should be doing. Chan is just getting started.
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