11 Honoré does not believe in compromising style for size. The luxury e-commerce retailer was established in 2016 with the goal of selling luxury brands to sizes 14-14. According to data from Edited, 2017 data showed that only 0.1% of the luxury retail space is available in plus-sizes, which created nothing but opportunity for a brand like 11 Honoré to change up the game.
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The brand’s Design Director, Danielle Williams Eke, joined in 2019 and has already left a lasting impact. She created the in-house line 11 Honoré Collection, as well as the 11 Honoré x BIPOC Designer initiative, which brought labels like LaQuan Smith and Greta Constantine to the platform.
Bustle spoke with Williams Eke about the importance and future of inclusive fashion.
Why do you think it’s important to hire Black, plus-size, female designers?
There are many amazing plus-size, Black designers out there with their own brands. These bigger companies bringing in influencers, models, or personalities to give insight on designs — like we did with Danielle Brooks, like Amazon did with Essie Golden — we have a voice and we understand this audience. We know what our homegirls want. We can communicate to a different audience from what they are used too.
What was it like working with two Black plus-size females for the 11 Honoré X Danielle Brooks collection?
Danielle had a clear idea of the silhouettes she wanted for her styles. The question she was asked was, “What are the things you’ve always wanted, but haven’t really been able to find?” She’s in this fashion world, she’s at New York fashion week with Christian Siriano. She gets to see all of the beauty that exists, that many times doesn’t come in plus sizes. She was able to show the customer what she saw out there.
As far as working with Kelly Augustine, she was really instrumental in the creative vision that came together from a marketing standpoint — so taking what me and Danielle Brooks had created and marrying that with her amazing styling abilities to create a marketing campaign that is really strong, really forward. There’s power to be found in the Black female.
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What is the significance of making luxury fashion available to plus-sizes
There was a time when it was like this. “Okay, I’m done shopping at Forever 21. I’m done shopping at all of these fast fashion places. I want to start investing in my wardrobe. And how can I do that in a way that won’t break my bank every paycheck, but that feels like I’m starting to build the closet and the wardrobe that I want.”With 11 Honoré collectionWe’re just getting started. You can choose what you want and spend as much or as little as you like. This range is important because it makes it easy for customers to access.
What do you hope for the future in plus-size fashion?
My original hope was to see all the big brands do plus-size. But I think I’ve reached the point where I want to see brands that truly care about the customer. It’s obvious that many of these larger brands don’t care about their customers. They don’t go through a full fitting process. They don’t even try to find out what the customer wants. They will take their regular-size styles and reduce it to plus-size. If that’s what you want to do, you can keep it.
My hope is that smaller independent brands can obtain the funding they need in order to grow and expand their collections. Plus-size fashion was born of a community. It is important to put emphasis on the community and helping each other build one another up in a way that feels genuine and not performative. This shows that we care about our customers. Our goal is to be an inclusive brand — and inclusive means more than a size 20 or 22. The Danielle Brooks collectionSize 26 is possible. We are looking at ways to continue to grow in a way we serve our customer, that is profitable for our bottom line, as well as building this community.
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