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SLiNK Demonstrates Challenges For Plus-Size Magazines

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The concept of plus-size has made inroads in the fashion industry, from the increasing presence of plus-size models in magazines spreads and ads to the addition of plus-size clothing at mainstream retailers like Forever 21.

But one area still failing female plus-size consumers is the magazine industry itself: there are no specifically plus-size magazines in the top tier of publications, no size 14 girls sitting at Vogue, Glamour and Elle's cool girl table.

So what will it take for a plus-size magazine to rise (or, to follow our metaphor, for the curvy girl to join the Plastics)? SLiNK Magazine, which launched online last year and released its first print issue this past April, is a good test case. Editor Rivkie Baum, who founded the U.K.-based magazine at age 26, wanted a publication that featured curvy models exclusively and catered to curvy readers fashion wants and needs. As she told Daily Mail, "We will not run a cover line that says: 'How to get that bikini body.' Over my big, beautiful body."

But there are distinct challenges to sticking to the plus-size creed. Baum told Liz Jones of the Daily Mail that her mag's ban on "straight size" models prevents her from publishing runway shots -- most high-fashion runways are populated with models sizes 0-2. More recently Baum spoke with the Guardian, explaining the challenge of working with fashion brands, both elite and mainstream:

At the magazine we illustrate catwalk trends on slightly fuller figures and samples aren't available out of season. We can't work three to six months ahead like most magazines and even plus-size brands for shopping pages aren't shot until the last minute which makes the fashion pages hard. Some brands have been reluctant to loan out items including high street brands that go up to a size 22.

By the time SLiNK waits for designer collections to go into production, making the clothes in a full range of sizes, it's too late: the magazine must go to print without the latest trends or wait and show them out of season.

In addition, Baum says, getting advertisers on board has been harder than imagined. "I'm deeply frustrated by the short-sighted views from mainstream brands in terms of advertising," she told the Guardian. "This includes beauty brands. You're never too curvy for makeup, hair products or accessories."

Agreed. If we learned anything from "In Her Shoes," it's that women of any size can appreciate a good accessory.

Read more of Baum's interview with the Guardian here and check out SLiNK Magazine at slinkmagazine.com.

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