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According to The CUT, despite the fact that more women are a size 16 than those who are a 2 and 4 combined, the plus-size market has had a painstaking time of trying to receive recognition from the high-end fashion industry. However, Lane Byrant, a top retailer in the plus-size industry, is making strides to expand the narrow boundaries of high-end fashion. With its first-ever designer collaboration, the brand hopes to merge the worlds of plus-size and high-end clothing.

Lane Byrant has collaborated with the husband-and-wife duo, Isabel and Ruben Toledo, to launch a capsule collection of T-shirts and bags. The pieces are works of art that showcase Ruben Toledo’s famous sketches. Ruben’s sketches are often integrated into Isabel’s designs. This feeding-off of one another for artistic inspiration is mutual since many of her designs influence his work also.

Their alliance with Lane Byrant is a change for the Toledos, who reside mostly in the upper-echelons of the art world. Their partnership with the $1 billion retail powerhouse comes as a surprise to many who know the Toledos as press-shy and more inclined to intellectual, artsy projects.  Though Isabel, under her eponymous label, has designed for many celebrities and well-known clients such as Michelle Obama, she is not one to lust after the limelight. Feitelberg in “Toledos to Launch Line for Lane Byrant” states that Isabel tends “to focus on her craft than finesse the art of self promotion.” In an interview with WWD, Isabel makes explicit that she will approach this new collaboration from an intellectual, artistic perspective:

“[We] were intellectually on board from the first moment. Their unique customer base is an inspiring and diverse audience for which we look forward to crafting new and innovative fashions, accessories and even some other categories. We also wish to introduce our vision of color, design, look and style, and with the vast manufacturing capabilities at their disposal, we know whatever we design will be made well and fit and feel marvelous. This seems so natural to Ruben and me and we cannot wait to unveil what we’re doing together.”

In addition to this capsule collection, the Toledos will continue to pursue artistically inclined projects. Though they took a dip into the plus-size fashion industry, the Toledos are more than ever at the helm of the art world with Ruben’s murals on show at the Midtown hotel and Isabel’s designs for the new musical “After Midnight.”

Image Source: (http://thecurvyfashionista.com)