May 26th, 2010
Fashion News, Plus Sized
American Apparel Says Plus Size Women are ‘Not Their Demographic’
By Claire

If you’ve every visited an American Apparel store and tried to slither your body into one of their more skin clinging spandex dresses, you’d already know that the California based chain doesn’t necessarily fashion clothes with the curvy girl in mind.

L.A.-based plus-size adult star April Flores must have also taken issue with the sizes of the clothes, and asked an American Apparel showroom rep if they’d ever make plus-size clothing. The representative replied, “That’s not our demographic.”

With a name like American Apparel, you’d hope they made clothes that could fit all Americans of all body types. But instead the brand that started off with mainly standard t-shirts and spandex leggings has expanded into a line of micro minis and dresses that reveal every nook and cranny. I’m good, I’ll pass.
What do you think?

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50 Responses to “American Apparel Says Plus Size Women are ‘Not Their Demographic’”

  1. Brandi says:

    I had a friend who worked as a manager at AA and there was a lot of crazy stuff she said that company claimed. in order to even be hired you had to look a certain way. i don’t support AA at all because their ads border on soft core porn (and i’m too much of a feminist to put up with that) and while they try to act like they stand for something with every “Sweatshop free” item they sell, they really don’t because they discriminate against a lot of people.

  2. Jai says:

    It’s really AA’s lost at the end of the day. They could cash in if they started catering to plus sizes as well, but it sounds kind of discriminatory.

  3. Lish says:

    Its cool esp since they charge an arm & leg for avg looking clothes.

  4. Cyndi says:

    I’ve bought better quality clothing at Wal-Mart (and that sentence was really painful to write.) Walking through their store is like walking through The Limited Too: teeny bopper clothes made for 8 and 9 year olds.

  5. Katy Sm says:

    Although i do not agree w/ AA, i do know that they have the right to cater to whomever they want to.

  6. Katy Sm says:

    Continuing from the comment above :

    I do not support AA for a few reasons:
    1. their ads are porn & it’s repulsive. I’m looking for clothing, not sex.
    2. they’re clothing is overpriced for being so simple. you should be able to buy all their stuff, 3 for $5.
    3. they have an ATTITUDE w/ caps SCREAMING !
    4. I don’t like the fact that they get away w/ all of the above, people still support them & i think it’s wrong.

  7. A B Real says:

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with stating that. Every other store accommodates bigger sizes. I personally love that there is a store that fits my 23″ and the rest of my proportions. The only ones that will be bothered by this are the ones that cannot fit American Apparel’s clothes. Just shop elsewhere…simple!

  8. Mack Minnie says:

    Like you said…I’ll pass.
    Who said their clothes were even that fly to begin with? Mainstream.
    Hit up a thrift and tell me what’s really real ;-)

  9. birdie says:

    I’m not a fan of AA. Their ads are tasteless and so is there clothing. However I see nothing wrong with their statement. Gymboree doesn’t cater to adults and Ashley Stewart doesn’t cater to a size 2, that’s not discrimination, it’s their market. They didn’t make any disparaging comment against plus size women, they simple stated that’s not who they are selling too. Which in my mind is silly because there’s profit to be made.

  10. LoquaciousDame says:

    I agree with @A B Real…. there’s nothing wrong with stating that there is a specific demographic for their clothing. Every clothing line and boutique has a certain demographic that they cater to, that’s what makes this business so lucrative and diverse. I ‘ll continue to shop there for my low scoop back one pieces, nylon leggings, jumpers and vintage sunglasses…:-)

    hey, its not for everyone….

  11. Shanitahz says:

    Who cares. AA= Cheesey clothes for smaller people. Smart businesses cater to errybody. Forever21 (Faith21) and H&M. At least they have the right idea.

  12. B Real says:

    no offense but with all that spandex, would you really want to see a plus size girl in AA? just sayin.

  13. Lish says:

    I don’t wanna see anyone in spandex ..just sayin

  14. Florent says:

    We parisian boys like girls with curves ! Well, for us mixt and black folks, at least !

    Their point of view is surprising since their adds are always starring curvy girls. hooooot !

    Bisous Misses Bomb

  15. I dont really shop at AA and I am a curvy size 10 myself, that being said there is nothing wrong with them saying they dont carry plus size clothes. That’s like going to Lane Bryant and asking where is the Petite section. Its just not their thing and they are entitled to it. If you are curvy and fabulous like me just shop somewhere else. Nuff said.

  16. Porsche says:

    Who cares AA is awful. The clothes are trashy and Amber Rose-esque and the ads are tasteless.

    Big girls you ain’t miss out on nothing!

  17. Angela says:

    I am a black woman and I do shop at AA. I love there fitted pencil skirts. They are pricey, but the material (not everything is spandex) feels great and fits around curves. There is absolutely nothing wrong with not catering to plus size women…who cares? That’s like a size 2 woman mad at Torrid for not catering to her size. AA is making there money without the plus size market. The plus size market is not the end all be all of demographics. AA will survive and prosper without them.

  18. the truth says:

    Really big girls should not even think about wearing spandex, tight clothes, or anything short, all which AA is fond of. Hit the gym and stop complaining!

  19. Lish says:

    @The Truth does everyone have to be a size “2″? The reason why Torrid and thoe stores exist is because there was/is a need for them..I’m not exactly a”big girl” but in defense of the sistas who may be a size 18 etc..Weight and weightloss is no “easy” task but women who are smaller attribute being “plus size” as being lazy but not everyone is going to look and be built the same way and I believe people should be accomodated at any size. So if AA feels that way then cool it was just a simple question.

  20. KiaJD says:

    Their prerogative. Many stores cater to a certain demo. I’m not mad because Lane Bryant doesn’t carry my size or because the shirts at American Eagle are cut very slim.
    Shop your stores. Stay in your lane.

  21. esme says:

    while i do feel like every store has a demographic, there is such a dearth of stores catering to plus sized women, that i think a lot of stores need to be compelled to make clothing for larger women. yes, i do periodically shop at AA for some dresses i like, even though i am disgusted by some of their sexist ads. i’m not plus-sized but i also realize what a privilege it is to be able to walk in most stores in the mall and immediately find something in my size to wear which most plus-sized women don’t have the luxury of doing. they have to work much harder to find fashionable clothes in their sizes. the average size of the american woman is a size 14 and stores need to acknowledge that.

  22. esme says:

    and i have a couple of responses, some of the “just go to the gym” comments are f**ked up. you never know why somebody is larger. it may be due to a health problem, and no matter how much they go to the gym or what they eat they’ll always be larger. it just makes you sound like an asshole. and second, comparing the fact that there are no regular sized clothes at a the few plus sized stores that even exist in comparison to ALL pretty much every clothing store that carry regular sizes but no plus sizes is an asinine comparison. people need to start recognizing their privilege here. this is like when black people try to explain discrimination in america to white people who refuse to acknowledge it. if you look at this situation rationally you’ll that people who have a problem with stores refusing to cater to plus size people are RIGHT.

  23. sun.kissed says:

    I find AA’s clothing is overpriced and ill fitting quite frankly. I’ve never had a hard time there, but I’ve heard stories of how they discriminate.

  24. Empress says:

    Their clothing is overpriced and over rated anyways, they know who they want, and if it’s not me I’ll take my money and give it to someone who actually has people like me in mind in their designs.

  25. mikele says:

    I’m a size 4 and I can’t fit half the stuff in there that I like! Not sure who they DO cater to!!?

  26. jboggie says:

    I am a curvy girl and fit size 10 and I love AA. The style of clothing they produce is pretty stretchy and I am sure girls bigger than size 10 can fit into some things and if you are a lumpy size 16 and want to wear pink shiny spandex leggings go for it, but if they don’t fit cha forget it and stop complaining there are too many stores out there that cater to plus sizes its not worth the argument. like someone said they dont need plus size girls money.

  27. TheMisses says:

    Not necessarily an AA fan, haven’t seen the ads and stuff but if that is their demographic then let it be! There are plus sized stores and many larger dept. stores that carry plenty of plus sized items for larger people to shop at…go to one of those..what’s the big deal??!!

    I’d like a bently..maybe i should rant about them catering to wealthy people and see how quick they lower their prices..

  28. esme says:

    their demographic is young fashionable people. should it matter what size they are? no. i’m a size 4, but i have plus size friends and family members who don’t have the same easy access to fashionable clothes as i many other slimmer people do. it’s unfair, and exclusionary for no reason at all. if the market is there (and it is since larger people are asking why they are unable to find things in their size at AA) cater to them! it’s not a big deal.

  29. esme says:

    *i meant- as i and many other slimmer people do.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I can’t help to chuckle at this. NO ONE wants to see big chicks is spandex- especially not the dress in this picture. I’m sorry, lmaooooooooooooo.

  31. Anonymous says:


  32. Anonymous says:


  33. Lolo says:

    well i just want to speak to the prices. while the prices may seem high, this is the cost of making clothes in AMERICA. I mean, think about it, almost nothing you wear or use is made here, due to low production costs overseas. Here, we have things like minimum wages and benefits and labor laws. This is why Wal-Mart, Forever 21 and H&M can afford to sell their clothes so cheap. (Especially since the quota system was eliminated a few years ago.) So, ethically, if you want to support American businesses and workers, you will pay for it.

  34. Amanda says:

    While I agree with most of the women here for stating the obvious which is that AA makes clothes out of spandex, which may not be flattering to plus size women, I also understand the other position that it is exclusionary. However in this great country we call the USA we as people are allowed specific freedoms. American Apparel is free to market and cater to whichever demographic they feel will be most lucrative for them. Nothing wrong with that. At the end of the day fashion isn’t fashion if it’s isn’t bringing in the paper.

  35. Seriously? says:

    1) Curvy does not = plus size. All curvy girls are not left out of AA. Being a size 16 doesn’t make you curvy as much as being a size 0 does not make you pretty.
    2) Can someone put me up to speed on these sexist ads? B/c I haven’t seen them only women scantily clad
    3) it is called American Apparel b/c it is made in America not because it is for every american. Is there even a brand that is for all Americans? W.e happened 2 personal style?

  36. Aye says:

    All good points, but truthfully at the end of the day, big girls and spandex are like oil and water…they don’t mix.

  37. kathyy says:

    i like some of their clothing, but they can suck it easy if they think im paying that much for something that i can get for $10 & better quality. And Besides. Since when THE HELL is a Size 6 Fat?? Ugh…….

  38. D says:

    Well, they are like most high end labels. They have a certain demographic or “image” they want to maintain.

    AA are not the only ones making cute clothes. If it doesn’t fit, you can find it elsewhere in your size. There is nothing they sell that cannot be found elsewhere.

  39. mesa says:

    Well I just bought a dress from them a few days ago for a white party and the guys that helped me were very nice they were dressed a lil weird but very helpful Sooo I guess it just depends on the store BUT. think about it was orginated in los angeles where there’s nothing but skinny women all around….Soooo they know what they were doing and its not just American that buy there clothes its international to….and I’m usually a size small in dresses I had to get my dress in a medium and that still fits like a small….Sooo I’m not saying all big girls can’t fit there clothes but if I had to buy a medium then I’m sure a larger girl can wear a large cuz there material stretches….

  40. tiffani says:

    Honestly I do not see a problem with them having a target demographic. Why all the outrage? Skinny women aren’t outraged that they aren’t apart of Torrid’s demographic. I believe in America we are to quick to stand on a soap box for plus sized individuals when in actuality many (not all) are that way because they choose to be. Please stop treating being plus sized as an incurable disease that requires some form of pity or special attention from everyone. American Apparel has aright to sell to whomever they feel the need to.

  41. the truth says:

    If the average size of american women is a 14, then that’s a crying shame. I recognize that there are people out there who have immense difficulty losing weight due to health problems, but a)they’re in the minority and b)most of those health problems stem from unhealthy habits. Not everyone woman should be a size 4, but if you want to wear certain clothes, you shouldn’t be a size 14. I hate that people continue to defend overweight/obese people, and the ones who tend to defend them are also overweight or obese.

  42. esme says:

    this is an article with the woman who started the compliant in the first place. in it, she touches on how it harder for fashionable larger young women to have access to fashionable clothing.

  43. esme says:

    and i don’t think having compassion and sympathy for people who are discriminated against based on the way they look is treating them like victims, i think it means you’re intolerant against discrimination.

  44. [...] has been embroiled in tons of controversy lately! First, one of their showroom reps admitted that plus size girls were ‘not their demographic’, then Jezebel noticed that a lot of their skimpier products like disco skirts and pleated skirts [...]

  45. well i guess they should start thinking twice. i mean lets face it, nowadays plus size girls are also a lot in number and it will be a good market as well. but since they said that its not their demographic…so be it. that’s what they want and prefer so let them. i believe there will always be some better store than they are where we can find variety of products and would offer clothes for all sizes.

  46. Myniya says:

    Well I am a plus size girl that really don’t care about aa first of all they clothes r cheap so dont feel sorry for me if I was a size 2 I wouldnt wear there clothes it’s nothing but a upscale walmart when I shop I buy gucci prada fendi so that cheap shit is not on my level I wear 2-$300 shirts so it don’t border me that they don’t make clothes to fit me I never seen there line in fashion week in new york I wouldn’t be caught dead in them cheap clothes

  47. groznaya says:

    “All you motherfuckers are gonna pay, You are the ones who are the ball-lickers. We’re gonna fuck your mothers while you watch and cry like little bitches. …we’re gonna make ‘em eat our shit, then shit out our shit, then eat their shit which is made up of our shit that we made ‘em eat. Then you’re all fucking next.”

    a herd of you people make a ruckus because of nothing. their clothes cater to a specific size demographic. it’s on their ads, on their manequins. some of you can fit the stuff if you take some effort and work out, and watch what you eat if you really like AAs style and wish to fit in. if there was something credible to bitch about it’s not necerailly the sizing, but the inconsistency in quality, the price (but if you understand how AA functions internally then you know why a shirt costs triple quadruple a walmart item)and price mark ups at the register. most stuff i bought however has been decent, and very different than department store and even higher-end designer mass marketed items.

  48. binks says:

    I don’t get why people are bringing up Torrid, Torrid and other plus size stores are still in the minority compare to other stores that don’t carry a wide selections of plus size if none at all. Personally, I’ am not a fan of AA anyway they are overprice for simple clothing you can find elsewhere so I don’t see the big appeal of it any way. Personally, I find that AA is always offending a “target” demographic and tries to back track. I say forget em, trust me their are a lot of places dying to get plus size, average size and slender women’s money so…shrugs

  49. PM says:

    Wow, that is terrible. Plus size women are just as gorgeous as other women. It isnt about the size of the person, it’s about their health, how your body fits in certain clothing, and how confident you are! Look at Queen Latifah, she’s badder than most skinny women! Get it right, ladies!

  50. DaraJanette says:

    So being a size 14 doesn’t bother me at all and I honestly CAN fit into SOME clothes at AA. However I have had my eye on the hoodie dress that they have for a long time now. My issue is that I have HUGE tits (38F) and so they won’t fit. Hello?! Skinny broads get breast implants every day, you think that they would ditch the “one size fits all” size and give everything an option. Ugh. I hate “one size fits all”.

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