Founder of the ‘Fatkini’, Gabi Gregg, has launched her new swim collaboration with Swimsuits For All. What is a fatkini? Gregg coined and designed the term in 2013, empowering larger women globally. A fatkini is a bikini that a woman of size wears. It supports the notion that getting ‘swimsuit season ready’ simply means donning a swimsuit that makes you feel confident. Since 2013, Gregg has been creating her own collaborations with Swimsuits for All – each collection selling out and only getting better than the next.
Gabi’s current collection, proclaiming herself, “Queen of The Bikini” (interesting to see she dropped: fatkini) is undoubtedly her best collection. Panning to a larger customer base, she is offering 12 suits within 3 silhouettes and 2 coverups. However, it’s now only offered in size 12 and above vs size 10 and above. This further isolates the ‘inbetweenie’ – the girl that wears plus-size clothing but also wears ‘regular size’ clothing. The collection spans many tastes, making it sellable: it’s flirty with florals, sexy with pinup polkadots and kisses, and edgy with military green and see through mesh panels. It would have been nice to see the ever-so-trendsetting Gregg play with more textures. I was a bit surprised to see none of the pieces were made from scuba material.
Gabi has faced much criticism for her choice to create a sexy swim collection for larger women. I’m still trying to figure out why people get so turned off by seeing fat women in bathing suits. Is cellulite sickening? Is a body roll bad? The aversion illustrates the issue: we don’t see enough images of body diversity to even respect or appreciate it when we do. Working in the fashion industry, you grow accustomed to seeing this aspirational image, that…(shhh)…doesn’t even exist. Even Beyoncé and Naomi Campbell are airbrushed!
While her collection could have been fresher, her message and movement make up for it. It’s about more than the bikini. Gabi pushes the imaginary fashion “lines”, creating clothing for all women, providing a more inclusive situation to an excluded audience. Search the hashtag: #fatkini and see droves of women embracing and loving their bodies. Women that are wearing bikinis for the first time because they are seeing their Internet sisters doing the same. Ladies: your body is fine just the way it is. Anything that promotes self-love, I support. I also encourage us to get used to diversifying from this false view that there is a standard body. The female body is like art, there is no such thing as perfection, and if you look long enough, you can find the beauty and appreciate more than you could imagine. Maybe larger bodies would naturally be deemed beautiful if our society were used to seeing them.
The fat movement is big business. 67% of apparel purchasers are size 14 and over. The plus-size industry is over a 16 BILLION dollar industry. Nevertheless, brands negate to cater to this demographic, moving industry advocates, like Gregg, to rise to the occasion. The fashion blogger becomes the designer, because the designer and the industry, refuse to acknowledge the power of this profitable sector. Whatever. More cash in Gregg’s pocket until brands decide to wakeup.
I’m here and in support of Gabi’s line. She continues to push the fashion industry to new realms of body acceptance. Sound off below. What do you think of Gregg creating bikinis for women of size?