Reitmans announced Monday the closure of its Addition Elle plus-size stores, which created a shock wave with several women for whom the company was almost essential.
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For Catherine Voyer-Léger, a loyal client of Addition Elle in Gatineau, this is dramatic news for all curvy women in Quebec.
COURTESY MARIANNE DUVAL
“It changed my life. When I went there as an adult, I thought that my life would have been so different if I had had this teenage girl, “she said.
According to Mme Voyer-Léger, Addition Elle offered affordable and stylish products for a younger clientele with a larger selection of sizes. “It gets complicated to dress when you go over size 18 in general stores. It’s rare to get to 22, 24, ”she said.
Same story for Edith Bernier, consultant and speaker in prevention of grossophobia and inclusion of fat people.
“Addition She was one of the few places where you could get lingerie and work clothes,” she said. Several women wrote to me saying, “But how am I going to dress, what are we going to do?” “
A market to be reconquered
Mme Bernier deplores the glaring lack of affordable supply and accessibility in plus size fashion, often neglected or little invested by certain companies.
“Companies do not want to be associated with fat people because it is not chic and they are afraid that it will devalue their brand,” she added.
Julie Duquette, owner of a plus-size boutique in Montreal, also believes that the market needs a revival and even sees it as a business opportunity.
“This is an opportunity to change people’s mindsets. People will buy a little more local; yes, it’s more expensive, but these are products that will last longer, “she said.
By email, Reitmans says it is working to “diversify and enhance” the offering of its Penningtons stores and says it is still committed to plus size fashion. The company has also shut down its Thyme Maternity stores.
“We are considering the possibility of offering Addition Elle products under the Penningtons brand. We will keep our customers informed throughout the transition, “writes the Canadian company.
Edith Bernier hopes that the industry will include plus size people more in its creative process.
“You have to think further than just enlarging the clothes. Companies have every advantage in consulting them and creating them accordingly, ”she judges.
The end of an era
Owner of the very first plus-size modeling agency in Quebec between 1989 and 2000, Sylvie Bédard remembers very well the opening of the very first Addition Elle in 1980.
“When I found my first pair of jeans at Addition Elle in Montreal, my back slid against the wall in the dressing room and I started to cry,” she recalled. Finally, I had jeans that made me. “
COURTESY SYLVIE BÉDARD
According to her, plus size fashion will not modernize until the addition of Addition Elle in 1980, bought by Reitmans in the early 2000s.
“Before, curvy women had their clothes made to measure or they dressed at Penningtons and it was very conservative,” she said.
COURTESY SYLVIE BÉDARD
Today a 63-year-old real estate broker, the 63-year-old woman still refuses to dress at Penningtons and hopes the fashion industry will find some love again.
“The reason I closed my agency is that in Quebec, there was no desire to promote plus-size clothing,” she said.