Often times, the fashion world is far from welcoming when it comes to the inclusion of plus-size men. Despite the fact that approximately 3 out of every 4 men are considered to be overweight or obese, the runway fails to reflect these truths. But, despite this tragic lack of representation, a rising group of men is fighting to be included in the fashion narrative. These men are bold, empowering, and inspiring — especially for me.
These 4 men are not only starting a dialogue and conversation, but they’re slowly revolutionizing an industry that is on the brink of change.
Along the way, they’ve had countless hurdles to jump over and struggles to bear through. In an industry that can exclude you based on size, this is no surprise. But as I begin to lend my voice to fight for their mission, their stories of the trails they’ve faced and overcome are nothing short of motivational.
In line with Hard at #Werk’s mission, I spoke with 4 of my favorite plus-size male bloggers and fashionistas about the strides they’ve made since joining the world of fashion and styling.
“I have to try my best to continually overcome the negative stereotypes that big men are sloppy, lazy, and dumb. I combat that by providing uplifting, inspiring, and fashion-forward content that motivate men of all sizes to always put their best foot forward.”
“Another hurdle I always try to tackle is that big men cant be fashion forward or trendy. True Big & Tall men’s clothing within the mainstream fashion industry is still very much nonexistent and is light-years away from being on the same trend level as women’s plus size collections, and even further away from bringing on the same taste and trend level as industry slandered size clothing brands. And to tackle that hurdle, I do my best to depict on-trend and fashion-forward content and provide men of size with the resources to shop for and develop the same looks on their own.”
Riccardo Onorato (@guyoverboard)
“It’s happened to me as a fashion blogger that brands loved my style — the way I make my content, my images. But, when I said ‘Ok, I would like to collaborate with you … these are my sizes,’ on the other side the answer was, ‘We do not have these sizes.’ This was very sad.”
“I hope [that that] is a warning to make the fashion industry understand how the inclusion of the sizes is a really important step that needs to be done. In other cases, I was more direct and I would tell the brand to think about a plus-size clothing line otherwise many other guys like me wouldn’t have had the opportunity to know and appreciate them. But I know that the road is still long.”
Daniel F. Grimsley (@franknthecity)
“One of the most difficult hurdles I have had to overcome as a plus-size man working in fashion is being visible. As a plus male in fashion, we find ourselves working harder to be seen in the industry and even harder finding clothing that is on trend. Because of these reasons, men of size are not being properly represented in the world of fashion yet. We have a plethora of work to do, but we are going to continue to push for inclusion, change, and acceptance from the wonderful world of fashion.”
Ady Del Valle (@adydelvalle_)
“One of the biggest hurdles I have and still need to overcome is being the biggest male model in body size in the industry that’s active in the industry. It is a constant battle to prove myself while still staying true to myself and what I stand for, which is for inclusion and diversity in the fashion industry. This is something I fight for every day so the generation after us has an opportunity to pursue their dreams without the roadblocks we have now. I want to use my voice, my presence, and platform to show that we can and we will.”