I think I first saw Maxine on a magazine a few years ago. I think it was Preview magazine and they featured a plus-size model wearing trendy jeans. Although I never bought anything from this brand, at least not yet, I think their designs are decent although they are pricier than some of the “normal size” retailers in department stores.
CLOTHING choices over the size 14 are often limited to over-sized baggy shirts and leggings, not to mention relegated to the back of the aisle racks, Maxine places its stylish merchandise squarely in front.
In this society where average sized women speak about their bodies only when it’s about reducing weight, losing pounds and getting even thinner, Maxine changes the trend and celebrates the plus size set.
Why hide an imperfect body when one clearly owns it? What better way for Maxine to drive this point home than to place their customers in a piece of clothing often denied them: Jeans.
“Who says women like me can’t wear jeans?” says Sanya Faustmann, 28, one of Maxine’s brave, courageous real models. Though denims are historically the most versatile, best-loved wardrobe staple, they are often denied to plus-size women because of their body type. “If I feel gorgeous in jeans, then I’ll look gorgeous. It’s all about having a positive self-image.”
Maxine’s marketing people listened to plus-size women talk about their near-crisis shopping disasters when looking for that perfect pair of jeans. Their stories included having to choose from a dismal array of colors and styles and enduring the embarrassment of being told there were no larger sizes.
The shopping mall, the land of food courts and noise pollution, offered every kind of conceivable denim: boot cut, hipster, acid-washed, super-low, flared, over-flared, under-dyed, no pockets, stretch, low-rise, no waistlines. None, however, considered the needs of the plus-sized set.
Maxine welcomes this abandoned market segment with open arms, providing an ever-expanding line of finely-crafted jeans, dyed with different hues of indigo and cut with different lengths, all covering sizes 14 to 24, sizes normal retail companies ignored. New styles are introduced weekly.
The jeans improve real curves, contour the butt and hug the legs just right. They’re sturdy, stylish and comfortable. The most compelling thing about the denims, though, is that they fit just right. They shape the hips of various body types, with no tummies hanging loose.
“Finally, jeans that fit me,” says Leia Teodoro, 38, entrepreneur and mother, who’s sick and tired of combing through racks of merchandise that feature only Size Zero. “Finally, I can walk confidently into a department store, knowing that my size exists.”
“I no longer have to go to the States to buy jeans,” says Angel Dy, 25, whose size was not available locally.
“I think it’s about time women like me are given choices, at least in terms of wardrobe,” says Angeli Arboleda, mid-thirties, mother of two.
“We design our clothes for a particular kind of plus-size woman,” says Shirley Syliangco-Enriquez, the woman behind Maxine. “She’s strong, self-empowered and stylish, and knows how to have fun. In a world that promotes impossible beauty ideals, Maxine holds on to what is real.”
The store has an entire line up of information drives, events, and activities specifically designed for its adopted market. This devotion to customer’s welfare is something many retailers don’t have, so Maxine’s plus-size sisters have a lot to look forward to. “We’ve already solved their problem of finding the right pair of jeans,” Shirley adds. “Now we can go have coffee somewhere and talk about everything else.”
Maxine is available in the Plus Size Section of Shoemart department stores.
If I am not mistaken, they’re also available at Landmark Department Store.