Reitmans announced on Monday the closure of its stores, plus size Addition Elle, which has created a shock wave with several women for whom the company was almost essential.
For Catherine Voyer-Léger, a loyal customer of Addition Elle Gatineau, it is a tragic news for all women of Québec.
“It changed my life. When I was there an adult, I told myself that my life would have been so different if I had been that girl”, she explained.
Ms. Voyer-Léger, Addition It offered affordable products and stylish for a younger clientele with a wider selection of sizes. “It becomes complicated to dress yourself when you go over the size 18 in the stores generalists. It is rare that we go to 22, to 24”, a-t-it advanced.
Same goes for Edith Bernier, consultant and keynote speaker on prevention of the grossophobie and inclusion of people big.
“Adding It was one of the few places where one could get the lingerie and clothing for the work, she pointed out. Several women have written to me saying “but how am I going to wear, we are going to do what?””.
A market to win back
Ms. Bernier deplores the glaring lack of affordable supply and accessibility in the plus size fashion, often neglected or little invested by some companies.
“Companies don’t want to be associated with fat people because it’s not chic and they fear that it devalues their brand,” she added.
The owner of a plus size store in Montreal, Julie Duquette thinks that the market is in need of revival, and even saw a business opportunity.
“This is an opportunity to change the attitudes of people. People will buy a little more local; yes, it is more expensive, but these are products that are going to last much longer,” she explained.
By e-mail, Reitmans indicates work to “diversify and expand” the supply of its stores Penningtons and says he is still committed to the plus size fashion. The company also put the key in the door of its Thyme Maternity stores.
“We are considering the possibility to offer products that are Adding It under the brand Penningtons. We will keep our clients informed throughout the transition,” writes canadian business.
Meanwhile, Edith Bernier hopes that the industry will include more people of plus sizes in its creative process.
“It is necessary to think further than just enlarge the clothing. The companies have any advantage to consult and create accordingly,” judge said she.
The end of an era
The owner of the first agency modeling plus size in Quebec between 1989 and 2000, Sylvie Bédard remembers very well the opening of the first Addition to It in 1980.
“When I found my first pair of jeans at Addition Elle in Montreal, my back slid against the wall in the dressing room and I started to cry, she recalled. Finally, I had jeans that made me.”
According to her, the plus size fashion does not modernize with the arrival of Addition, It in 1980, and acquired by Reitmans in the early 2000s.
“Before, the women were making their clothes or they dressed in Penningtons and it was very conservative”, she explained.
Today broker real estate, the wife of the 63-year-old still refuses to dress at Penningtons and hope that the fashion industry finds a little love.
“The reason why I closed my agency, is that in Quebec, there was not the willingness to make the promotion of plus size clothes”, she mentioned.