From Dove’s long-running Real Beauty campaign to Candice Huffine, the plus-size model in Pirelli’s 2015 calendar, and Sports Illustrated’s 2016 Swimsuit edition featuring Ashley Graham on one of its three covers, one would think larger women were always popular in the media.
But Industry, Calif.-based Torrid has always celebrated plus-size models, and now it’s celebrating plus-size women.
“I think it’s great. Other retailers are doing it and it feels like it’s about time,” said Kate Horton, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of Torrid, which is launching a new denim ad campaign on July 25. “To me, it’s a little ironic that all of a sudden this is newsworthy.
“Most of America is [bigger than] size 12,” Horton added. “To have advertising reflect real women is really how it should be. Traditionally, advertising has gone toward aspirational. We think real women are aspirational. At the end of the day we’re a size range and want to make women look great.”
Torrid’s ad campaign features 11 real women of different shapes and sizes wearing the brand’s 11 fits and denim shirts, sizes 10 through 30. (The jeans come in 42 different washes.) The double-page ad carries the hashtag, #InMyJeans [Special Edition] “Starring These Hot Babes and More In Our Sexiest Denim Ever.” Participants include Adrienne C. Moore, an actress on “Orange Is the New Black”; Lyanna Lynette, winner of the 2015 Torrid model search; models Georgina Burke and Philomena Kwao; bloggers Simone Mariposa, Allison Teng and Anna O’Brien; vlogger Loey Lane; Torrid denim team member Kaitlin Moorhead, and a few customers chosen for posting their favorite denim fits on Instagram.
The idea for the campaign came because “we were looking around, and everybody is doing this plus-size movement,” Horton said. “At Torrid, it’s a different philosophy, it all starts with the product and the fit. We have a strong denim business. We really put the expertise into it. We hired wash experts, fit and design experts. Our jeans are on par with $200 and $300 brands. Ours is about $58.90 to $99.90 for our premium. When the product is right, we don’t really have price resistance.”
Videos of each of the women in the campaign will be posted on Torrid social media and YouTube channels, featuring their accounts of how Torrid’s denim empowered them.
The second annual search My Torrid Model will kick off in New York on Saturday, with stops planned in Miami, Nashville and Los Angeles. The winner will be the face of Torrid’s 2017 advertising campaign.
“We’re going to let our customers and America decide who the face of Torrid should be,” Horton said. “As we go through this journey, we’ll film it. We’ll capture the spirit and energy of the search and share it with the world on our web site and YouTube.”
Social media voting will be in October and the winner will be revealed in January.
Torrid has been remodeling its fleet of more than 400 stores over the last three years. “We’ve elevated the in-store experience with large fitting rooms and a fantastic sales force. We’re growing. We plan to continue opening stores and entering markets.”