2017 has been a year full of inclusion, with many celebs and Instagram fitness influencers sharing messages supporting body positivity. However, because many activewear brands only offer standard sizes, it can be intimidating for many to even get dressed to go to yoga, the gym or a fitness class. But of course, ladies of all shapes and sizes enjoy the stress-reducing benefits of exercise. Founder and CEO of Alexis Mera decided she wanted to help change the way plus-size women feel about putting on their workout gear, so her newest line that launched this month features plus sizes on many styles.
Q: What’s the inspiration behind your new line that's available this September?
AD: This collection is definitely inspired by New York City, in fact each of the color stories within the collection are named after downtown Manhattan streets - Bleecker, Mercer and Mulberry. We introduced darker, moody colors, more essentials and pops of texture and black and white print. Many of the pieces are great for the city commuter, with a packed schedule, they truly transition throughout the day. I love styling my black leggings with a printed silk blouse for meetings and then throwing on a sports bra for my evening workout.
Judging from past collections, you may not realize, I am born and raised in New York. Known for vibrant and tropical prints (maybe I wish I lived on an island?), this time around I'm excited to show off a new side of myself and the line. So far, it's been very well received!
Q: What made you decide to start adding plus sizes to your latest collection?
AD: It's something I've been thinking about for a while, as it is definitely an underserved market. Currently I'm a size 12 (or L in our leggings), but I haven't always been this size. My weight fluctuated a lot in my 20's and it wasn't always easy to find things in my size, it's still difficult sometimes at my current (more curvy) size.
Offering plus size lets us delve deeper into our mission to empower women to feel happy, healthy and beautiful in their own skin. We want everyone to feel good in what they’re wearing, while they’re working out or hanging out and we don't want that to be limited to size 0 - 12.
Q: Why do you think so many fitness brands carry only standard sizes?
AD: I know for me it's been a matter of growing the business first and then expanding. It's hard to chime in for other brands, but as a whole, I think many brands don't realize that there is a market out there for plus size. But not just plus sizing, there's a market for plus size 'fashion'. Not frumpy stuff that you'd never want to be seen in.
Q: You care a lot about body positivity. What’s one piece of advice you have for women who are a bit intimidated by fitness?
AD: The people around you are probably just as intimidated or were just as intimidated before they started. Take the leap, jump in and if it's a group fitness class, talk to the person next to you, you'll see they're not that intimidating after all.
Q: Do you think we’ll start to see more brands following your lead in the future?
AD: The business woman side of me wants to say no, because I'd like to dominate (insert wink emoji). But, I think the women out there who are 'plus size' deserve more options, so I hope more and more brands will keep this in mind.
P.S. I really want to come up with another term instead of 'plus size', it feels so antiquated especially in today's world where women are empowered to feel happy, confident and strong no matter what size they are! Taking suggestions!
Alexis Mera is now offering plus sizes. Shop the collection here.
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