Plus Size Fashion Just Got A Lot More Interesting! ANL Vintage Launches an Online Re-Imagined Vintage Clothing Store.

Plus Size Fashion Just Got A Lot More Interesting! ANL Vintage Launches an Online Re-Imagined Vintage Clothing Store.

Blogger turned fashion entrepreneur, Jess Sims of the Neutral Life, began her blog with the purpose to change society’s view on what plus-size fashion really is. As a writer, she covered fashion, health inequality, fatphobia, and body positivity with a particular interest in topics that related to the experience of women of color in the industry. What once began as a platform to talk freely about fashion turned into a business venture. Fast-fashion companies who provide plus-size fashion have always had their faults and she grew tired of the lack of size inclusivity in the market. Jess wanted to create a brand where plus size women could find unique clothing that fits their body right. ANL Vintage, a hub for re-imagined vintage pieces that run to size 24 has officially launched online.
Hear all about it below.
SLTV: Let’s start by introducing you to our readers. What led you to creating your plus-size brand? I applaud you for doing so, as a plus-size woman myself, It makes me so happy to see more size-inclusive fashion paving the way in San Antonio!
JS: My name is Jess, I am a published freelance writer, content creator, former PR girl and I recently decided to add another thing to my list and open an online vintage and vintage re-work boutique dedicated solely to plus-size bodies (sizes 12-26) called ANL Vintage. I honestly fought the idea of opening a shop, to be quite frank, I have always imagined I am rubbish at selling things but I noticed the sheer amount of straight-size vintage shops that catered to that market and it wasn’t adding up to me. Plus-size women, sizes 14 and up, make up almost 2/3 of the population, so why is this market so underserved? After hemming and hawing for MONTHS, I set a date and finally decided I have to do it, I have to just go for it because clearly there aren’t a lot of others willing to do it.
SLTV: That is amazing! Vintage shopping for plus size women can be so difficult. What inspired you for this first collection of vintage pieces? 
JS: You know, is it bad to say “nothing?” This first drop was just me testing the waters with potential customers with my favorite things (which include a lot of shoulder pads for some reason) and seeing how people react to them.
SLTV: What can we expect from you next?
JS: Well, my dream is to have vintage re-worked pieces, like some of my favorite online shops such as Random & Chic and Washington Ave. BUT for plus size babes, I want to take what’s old and make it new again. In the last few years in plus-size fashion, we have seen a huge emergence of fast fashion which I am on board with because for decades plus-size bodies were an afterthought in fashion. However, we still don’t have a ton of options for sustainable, chic and unique pieces. That’s what I hope ANL Vintage provides.
SLTV: You mentioned a lack of sustainability in the plus-size industry, what else do you think lacks and how will you help build the bridge?
JS: Oh man…my biggest gripe with the plus-size industry is TRUE size inclusivity. It’s 2020 and so many extended size ranges still stop at a 20. There are people who are above a size 20 and it’s ok to acknowledge that. I also hate the commercialization of the body-positive movement, because what it essentially did was center it around white women who are “acceptable” fat (i.e. hourglass or pear-shaped bodies, flat stomachs, never above a size 16) and made them the center of plus size fashion and that’s ridiculous. We are now fighting to have Black and Brown women be represented in plus-size fashion and that’s detrimental to all of us. Lastly, sustainability seems to be an option for everyone BUT fat people, and I am tired of it. With ANL Vintage, I want to make a dent in all three of those issues; even in our first drop, we go up to a size 24, our models are PoC women with a variety of body shapes and we’re sustainable, as a rule.
SLTV: Those are some amazing changes you will bring! We’re excited to see how ANL changes the mold of society’s “plus size fashion”.
SLTV: What has been the biggest struggle and the best part in creating this brand/collection? 
JS: Self-doubt and anxiety will always be my biggest struggles and doubly so with ANL Vintage. I was terrified to share this with people because I am terrified of rejection, terrified that they won’t see what I see and get the vision, or think my prices are too high. As a creative, that will be an ongoing struggle, for sure. The best part of this process has definitely been realizing I have SO much support, from my family, friends and online friends. People really came out to support me and it made me feel less anxious. I know building a brand takes time (I was in PR and Marketing for years, I know virality is not the norm), but having that support makes a huge difference.
SLTV: If you could tell a plus-size woman reading this one thing to help her feel confident in her skin and clothing what would it be?
JS: Realize it’s a journey, you are unlearning probably decades of society-imposed self-hate and probably have at least some internalized fatphobia. If one day you love your arms? Great. If tomorrow you don’t? Guess what, that’s cool, too. You don’t have to love everything about yourself all the time, nobody does. Be gentle with yourself. Buy clothes that make you happy; I don’t care where they come from, I don’t care if it’s fast fashion, luxury fashion, from Goodwill, I don’t care, just buy things that make YOU happy and go from there.
SLTV: Thank you for the encouraging words, I’m sure you have and will inspire so many with ANL Vintage. Congratulations Jess!

FELL IN LOVE WITH JESS AND ANL VINTAGE? KEEP UP WITH THEM BY FOLLOWING THEIR INSTAGRAM AND SHOPPING THEIR COLLECTIONS HERE. FOLLOW A NEUTRAL LIFE BLOG HERE.
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Kassandra Rodriguez
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Kassandra is a Trendsetter Member of the Texas Fashion Industry Initiative currently learning about online fashion media and content creation through its mentorship opportunity. Originally from McAllen, Texas, Kassandra is a fashionista at heart. She hopes to inspire everyone to dress outside of their comfort zone and use style as a form of self-expression. She's an advocate for plus size fashion, believing that fashion shouldn't discriminate on the basis of pant size. From working Alta Roma Fashion Week, to styling Milan Men's Fashion Week her experiences bring a unique flame to San Antonio.