Did you hear about the controversy that Revolve sparked a few weeks ago when the company attempted to launch a campaign motivated by the body positivity movement? In case you missed it, let us give you a quick recap. They collaborated with curvier celebrities (i.e. Lena Dunham) to take hurtful comments those women had heard over the years and put them on shirts. Except one shirt that read, “Being fat is not beautiful it’s an excuse” was released prematurely and without any context explaining the intent of the campaign and what they were trying to accomplish. Not only that, but this particular shirt was photographed on a very thin, straight model who clearly had never walked the path that the shirt was referencing. So understandably, it was misinterpreted and upset quite a few people. Now to be fair, Revolve was quick to come forward and acknowledge that the launch was handled poorly and was offensive, but it still left a lot of people wondering about the campaign itself even had it gone according to plan. Who would wear those types of shirts? Would it actually do the opposite of their intent and promote bullying?
In the midst of the uproar, Alli and I had a convo about how interesting it was that a company that is led by two male co-CEO’s was launching a campaign itself to insert themselves into a movement focused on celebrating women’s natural body sizes, when that’s not their customer base at all. And, before someone accuses us of being men haters (LOL, NOT the case!) we want to point out that there have been some male CEO’s who have taken on campaigns like this and succeeded (Dove as a major one, for example, as well as Aerie). BUT, it’s fascinating because Revolve has built almost a billion dollar company selling merchandise that basically never goes past a size XL. And I’ve seen many instances of size XXS on their site. And so to us, to put together a campaign like this was, again, “interesting” because there’s no way they have a significant plus-size customer base, as their inventory literally does not allow for it. True story: I even googled “Revolve Plus Size” and the only product that came up from their website was hair mousse (apparently provides amazing volume!). Why even take on a campaign of this nature in the first place? If you aren’t seeking to make a change to your business broad-scale, to us, it just comes across as incredibly disingenuous and tapping into a very sensitive movement purely for financial gain. It seems like it makes about as much sense as Alli and I trying to launch a campaign to speak to the short girl problems of the world. Inauthentic much?
This example of Revolve trying to jump on the bopo bandwagon struck a chord with us because it brought us back to the reason why we are in business versus why some others are in business. Revolve was not launched to make shopping easier for plus size women in anyway, yet they tried to use a clever campaign to financially benefit from a positive movement happening now for women. However, Amalli Talli WAS launched to solve a problem we had, along with many of our friends. Our mission is to enhance the shopping experience and options available for our fellow tall girlfriends because we know the psychological effects that happen when nothing fits. Girls and women tend to think something is wrong or abnormal with their bodies, when really it’s just a business decision that brands make to control their costs and best appeal to the masses. Alli and I are very proud to be two girls who are not only the founders, owners but also the only day to day decision makers for our company that provides for the needs of tall girls and women. We don’t have to bring in outside experts or ambassadors to teach us about the challenges that our niche experiences; we have truly experienced them all first-hand ourselves. We can tell you exactly how it feels to cry it out in a dressing room after trying on a million things and not finding a single piece that fit. We can tell you how it feels to be called out day after day by the general public for being “different.” There’s not a fancy copywriter on staff who is trying to translate everything for a snazzy & glittery advertising campaign. We are just speaking our truths and sharing our own stories day in and day out. It might not be perfect, but we will take imperfect and authentic any day because it’s all true.
Also, we will never produce anything that doesn’t reflect the type of style and aesthetic that we personally have wanted to have for many years earlier in life. We both wanted to wear the popular trends and styles that our girlfriends or popular bloggers were wearing – but couldn’t find them with the right proportions. MANY times we would try to shop at all the popular retailers and would leave empty-handed. To this day, that’s exactly what motivates the design of our line and what we produce. It’s therapeutic for us to be able to now make the kind of clothes that before we could only dream about. And before we were actually designing and manufacturing, we were going to clothing markets and working with other mainstream, popular brands so we had a great opportunity to learn what does well in the general market and apply it to our line. Plus, we have a sincere, personal desire to look cute & stylish every day, so if it’s not a style that we would be excited to wear ourselves, it won’t be made. We would not feel good marketing and promoting something that we wouldn’t want to leave the house personally wearing. It’s important to us that we can look you directly in the eye, talk to you about why we genuinely love each and every item AND show you how we style it. It’s just a different level of accountability than a male CEO who can’t personally vouch for it or the self-esteem issues they are trying to play to.
Another important distinction between Amalli Talli and any other retailer is our true understanding of the different proportions that tall comes in. If you’ve followed along with us, you’ve heard us say before that tall isn’t one size or one length. In our previous experience, tall clothing still only worked for part of the niche. Alli might have luck and found something great, but then usually it wouldn’t work for me. And vice versa. That’s because companies have one fit model they use when determining their measurements. But Alli and I are nearly six inches apart in height – yet still both tall women. It just wouldn’t work to use only her measurements or only mine. Instead, we acknowledge both of our proportions and find ways to make our garments work across the entire spectrum of tall. Sometimes that means cutting a style in two different lengths, and sometimes it means creating a ton of different samples of a style until it truly works for both of us. It’s not always super easy, but this process is critical because without it, we wouldn’t be providing a fit that works for a range of tall. This makes us very unique in our product fit. But again, the rationale for this process that we use goes back to why we got into business in the first place. Because our own experiences opened our eyes to what was lacking in the tall clothing world and where challenges still existed for tall women.
At the end of the day, it’s not always easy but we’re super proud and happy to be the ones calling the shots. Not only so our brand message / aesthetic / fit is truly what we want it to be, but so we can be the most transparent and easily accessible. We are always available to answer any questions about fit, styling, size, and beyond that… we are here for tall girl advice + body positivity, because we’ve walked your path. Yes seriously, there’s REAL women behind this brand. No untouchable, stuffy CEO vibes. Just two sisters who started a family business together because they truly want to change the retail landscape for tall girls. We love connecting with our customers just for fun and we hope to make you feel part of our brand, too.
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