Noteworthy #062: JCPenney Unveils New Plus-Size Clothing Campaign

JCPenney is stepping up its marketing game with the release of its new campaign for its plus-size clothing line, Here I Am.

The  campaign features style blogger Gabi Fresh; yogi and Instagram influencer Valerie Sagun; body-positive writer Jes Baker; singer Mary Lambert; and Project Runway winner and designer Ashley Nell Tipton, who has created a line of plus-size clothing for retailer. Throughout the recently released video for the campaign (below), the women discuss the trials and tribulations of body-acceptance and plus-size clothing, and kick ass while doing it.

JCPenney’s approach to promoting its new plus-size line is refreshing for a number of reasons. Most importantly though, by showcasing the unfiltered thoughts of real, inspirational women who have made their mark in their respective career fields, the Here I Am campaign offers something that is relatable, inspiring and honest.

We’ve seen the clothing brands that attempt to connect with their customers by showcasing models with a toned down beauty look, using inspirational quotes, or staging confidence-boosting exercises. However, as noble as the intentions of Dove, Aerie, Victoria’s Secret, etc., may be, they never seem to truly capture the essence of what it means to be considered outside of the “fashion-norm.”

We get it. Brands that have solely focused on catering to the 2’s and 4’s of the world for the last however many decades don’t always know how to efficiently connect with plus-sized customers. But, if the #bodypostivity movement has shown us anything, it’s that women (and men) of all sizes want to feel great about their bodies and how they present themselves, and brands that aren’t taking notice of this, definitely should be.

There’s undoubtedly a number of issues with the plus-size market and the fashion industry’s under-representation of it. However, with a brand like JCPenney making the right moves, hopefully other retailers can follow its lead.

Emma Klug started The Style Note in the fall of 2012. Her writing has been featured in DBusiness Magazine, Chicago Sun-Times, Nothing Major, The Working Wardrobe, Chicago Talks, Inexpensive Chic, and The Wayne State University student paper: The South End. When she’s not writing you can find her eating pizza, binge-watching Netflix and working her day job as a magazine editor.


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