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Am. Apparel in Plus-Size Model Controversy

(Filed Under retail Lingerie News). After an initial snub and flak from plus-size advocates and the media alike, Los Angeles-based retailer American Apparel has reached out to the winner of a plus-size model competition.

To celebrate the launch of XL sizes, Los Angeles-based retailer American Apparel recently held an online contest dubbed "The Next BIG Thing" to find a fuller-figured woman to model its clothing. Twenty-four-year-old size-12 Texan Nancy Upton submitted photos of herself gorging on junk food while posing in sexy clothing. According to Upton’s blog, "Extra Wiggle Room," the student and actress submitted the photos as a protest against the company’s marketing strategies. However, Upton’s photos went viral and she ended up winning the contest — but American Apparel awarded first place to another entrant.

"It’s a shame that your project attempts to discredit the positive intentions of our challenge based on your personal distaste for our use of light-hearted language," American Apparel creative director Iris Alonzo wrote to Upton in a letter that was posted online and also disseminated to media outlets. "While you were clearly the popular choice, we have decided to award the prizes to other contestants that we feel truly exemplify the idea of beauty inside and out, and whom we will be proud to have representing our company."

American Apparel has since reached out to Upton, inviting her to Los Angeles to meet with company executives. While Upton accepted the invitation, she stated that even if she were asked, "I most certainly would not model for American Apparel, because, pretty obviously, I don’t agree with their business practices."

more retail Lingerie News >>

Published 09-22-2011 by Katherine Rautenberg

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