Increasingly, fashion brands are recognizing the need for diversity to cater to a wider range of consumers. Which is why we were thrilled to hear the news from British luxury accessories designer Sophia Webster today.
Webster’s eponymous label, which began in 2012 with a focus on audience diversity, has announced the launch of Sophia Webster Sizing Up, which will see the brand offer women’s shoes up to a size US 15.5 (EU46/UK13), with the release of her Spring 2020 collection this month.
“This development has been a long-time coming and I’m pleased to finally launch an extended size-range in some of my most popular silhouettes, as well as a few new favourites,” Webster said. “I’ve wanted to respond not only to personal requests from my friends but also to the swell of demand for size diversity in fashion. It was an inevitable and necessary direction of growth for the brand and I’m proud to offer product that caters to people who are side-lined by our industry.”
Model, writer and activist Jess Cole is amongst those with a shoe size outside the “standard” range. In a YouTube video posted to the Sophia Webster channel today, Cole shared her frustrations at having to search the men’s section for footwear in the past.
Cole admits to having feelings of anxiety at model castings because, more often than not, sample sizes are a EU37, or 40. “Through modelling, you kind of see where the roots of some of the problems come from. It’s not even acknowledged that women might have bigger feet. It’s a shame that with this whole body positivity movement, we’re still accepting the pain of wearing shoes.”
She reveals in the video that in order to wear heels, squeezing her feet into a size 41 or 42 is her only option. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a pair of heels in a size 43. Ever.”
“Look at all the heel-heights you’ve got going on,” she says, later making note that heels available in larger sizes generally don’t offer a lot of height. “I actually really like being really, really tall… And I feel quite powerful as well actually.”
The Spring 2020 collection delivers from November through March on sophiawebster.com.