Rebel Wilson to launch fashion label for women size 16 and up

Photo: @rebelwilson I'm very excited to announce that I'm starting my own plus size clothing line called REBEL WILSON x ANGELS. Available in department stores this Summer!! More info soon x

Photo: @rebelwilson I'm very excited to announce that I'm starting my own plus size clothing line called REBEL WILSON x ANGELS. Available in department stores this Summer!! More info soon x

It's been a busy time for Rebel Wilson. Following her pay day in court in her defamation suit against glossy magazine publisher Bauer Media for a series of defamatory articles, and the release of the trailer for her new movie, Pitch Perfect 3, the actress - and champion of the celebrity underdog - this morning announced on Twitter that she was releasing a line of plus-size fashion clothing. 

According to a press release the range will be a "contemporary" range for women size 16 (size 14 in the US) and up and includes lycra-infused denim, bomber jackets, special occasion dresses and printed tees.

Launching in the American fall (September), the collection will be stocked in major US department stores such as Nordstrom and apparently Rebel wears a few of the pieces in Pitch Perfect 3. 

In a rather florid bit of press talk Wilson describes her collection as thus: 

"I know how hard it can be to find the cool, quality fashion I want to wear, even with the help of Hollywood stylists."

"I'm so proud to be creating this collection with The Mamiye Group [a distributor and manufacturer of  various brands], and to give gorgeous ladies everywhere amazing clothes that empower them to express their confidence and chic attitude."

Wilson, who has collaborated on plus-size clothing collections before - including a range of t-shirts with slogans from her The Wedge character, Fat Mandi - does have a point. 

There still remains something of a dearth of decent plus-size clothing, especially in the "contemporary" genre. That's leaving a lot of women unable to express their "chic attitudes." Let alone find a nice blouse for work. 

As the Business of Fashion noted in 2015, "In the United States alone plus-size clothing is now a [USD]$17.5 billion market, but it remains one of the most underserved segments of the fashion industry. Plus-size departments are often small spaces hidden at the back of stores; styles are limited, less adventurous and off-trend."

And it's something keenly felt in Hollywood, AKA Wilson's place of work, where pressure to look a certain way (i.e. thin) has meant that some celebrities - from Saturday Night Live's Aidy Bryant to Melissa McCarthy - have spoken out about the many designers have point-blank refused to dress them for red carpet events.

It's something that actress and creator of the perfect Sean Spicer impersonation, Melissa McCarthy, attempted to address when she released her range of plus-size fashion, Seven7, in 2015. 

As she told WWD at the time, "When you go above a size 12, you don't lose your love of fashion."

McCarthy has also worked hard to get rid of any stigma around plus-size clothing, starting from where the clothes are stocked. As she told Refinery29:

"I don't like the segregated plus section. You're saying: 'You don't get what everybody else gets. You have to go shop up by the tyre section.'" McCarthy's collection is now stocked in major US retailers and sold online.

While many celebrities have a range of merch with their names on it, perhaps the key difference between a branding - i.e. money-making - opportunity and the ranges put out by Wilson and McCarthy is that their clothing lines are in a way an extension of their lived experiences. 

And here's hoping that actually means beautiful, flattering clothes for women that can be purchased in the light of the day and nowhere near the tyre section.