H&M has extended its size range.
Now, the Swedish retailer has products up to a size 2XL in stores for women and men, and up to 4XL online for women and 3XL for men.
To further their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, H&M has partnered with plus-size model and activist Tess Holliday, who is now a size and inclusivity consultant for the brand.
The idea to extend H&M’s size ranges came about in 2021 when Holliday was scheduled to model for the brand. She had previously modeled for H&M before for a global campaign in 2015, but this time she was shocked to find the collection she was supposed to model offered nothing in her size. While she initially felt defeated, she decided to set up a meeting with H&M.
“I didn’t know what to expect going into that meeting, but I knew I didn’t want what I experienced with sizing to happen to someone else,” Holliday said. “I left thinking it would be a dream to work with H&M as a size inclusivity consultant like I have with other brands. When H&M brought me on for that role, the dream came true.”
Holliday worked closely with H&M’s head of inclusion and diversity for region Americas, Donna Grozier Gordon, to help H&M in its efforts to expand the retailer’s size range.
“It’s so important to have diverse folks like Donna in the fashion industry who are making sure everyone is part of H&M’s marketing and representing the communities the brand wants to reach and serve,” Holliday said. “It was so nice to have H&M reach out to me and ask what they can do better. The issue with a lot of these brands is they aren’t reaching out to the communities they are trying to represent.”
Holliday said one of the struggles brands have when designing for plus-size women is they don’t think about their bodies. She emphasized how brands need to take plus-size consumers into account as they scale up and focus on things like adding different types of materials with more stretch and designing clothes that support different parts of the body.
“Plus-size women want to be able to wear things that every other woman is wearing,” Holliday said. “Often, we just don’t have the access to do that because clothes aren’t being designed focus, and even when brands try, it’s sometimes not quite right.”
To help expand their size offerings, Holliday said the brands need to reach out to their customers and pay attention to customer feedback. They also need to have fit models who are plus-size.
“What I appreciate about H&M is, when they didn’t get something right, they put time, energy and money into fixing it to make sure all their customers will feel good wearing their garments,” Holliday said. “Plus-size consumers tend to wear our heart on our sleeve because we are so used to being disappointed by brands. A lot of brands will have all these size inclusivity initiatives and campaigns, but then when we buy the clothes, they are lackluster. It feels like you’re not even dating but everyone is dumping you. For brands that get it right, they are rewarded. Plus-size consumers have the money and buying power, and we want to shop and feel good.”
As part of its efforts toward diversity and inclusion, H&M’s Los Angeles content studio is dedicated to the company’s DEI initiatives and representation, and geared toward creating imagery that will resonate with local consumers.
H&M has also introduced a new denim collection, Curvy Denim, which is sized to focus on fit and shape and caters toward curvier body shapes by including more room in the hips and thigh and a longer rise. The collection is now available on HM.com.
As fashion becomes more democratized and inclusive, Gordon says, “The democratization of fashion is in H&M’s DNA. Our mission is to make fashion accessible to everyone. This extended sizing journey is part of commitment to being relevant to all customers, and we will continue delivering exceptional customer experience to everyone.”