- A number of celebrities, from Megan Mullally to Leslie Jones, have called out the fashion industry about being unwilling to dress them.
- Bebe Rexha has said designers wouldn’t dress her because of her size.
- Actress Jane Seymour, who is 68 years old, said “not every designer” will dress someone of her age.
- When she was in Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé said she couldn’t find a designer to dress her and the rest of the group.
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Many celebrities have said publicly that it can be challenging to find a designer to dress them or style them for red carpets, movie premieres, and other important events if they’re of a certain size.
And although it might not seem like the biggest deal that celebrities can’t always find a beautiful outfit to wear, in many cases, it calls attention to the fashion world’s lack of size inclusivity.
From Melissa McCarthy to Bebe Rexha, here are some celebrities who have said designers wouldn’t style them or lend them clothing.
Melissa McCarthy said she couldn’t find someone to dress her for the 2012 Oscars.
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In the July 2014 issue of Redbook, Melissa McCarthy noted that, even post-“Bridesmaids,” she had a hard time finding a designer willing to dress her for the 2012 Oscars ceremony.
“I asked five or six designers – very high-level ones who make lots of dresses for people – and they all said no,” she explained.
She, of course, did end up finding a dress to wear to the ceremony, but it wasn’t a custom gown from a designer. The gown came from Marina Rinaldi, a ready-to-wear line that’s sold in department stores, as the Washington Post reported.
Leslie Jones said she couldn’t find a designer to dress for her movie premiere.
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Before the premiere of her movie, “Ghostbusters,” actress and comedian Leslie Jones tweeted that she was having a difficult time finding a designer willing to dress her. “It’s so funny how there are no designers wanting to help me with a premiere dress for the movie,” Jones wrote. “Hmmm that will change and I remember everything.”
Some stylists responded telling Jones that the reason she might’ve struggled to find a dress was pure logistics.
“She should have known four to five months ago the date of [the] premiere, and said, ‘I’m not a sample size, I need to go to designers early or buy myself a dress.’ Don’t be blaming designers and saying they don’t like you,” celebrity stylist Jessica Paster, whose clients include Emily Blunt and Nia Vardalos, told The Hollywood Reporter.
“It’s just pure economics,” added The Hollywood Reporter’s stylist Jeanne Yang. “People have this belief that showrooms and designers have racks and racks of clothing in all sizes. They don’t.”
Fortunately, Jones was able to find a designer to style her. As Vogue reported, less than an hour after she tweeted, designer Christian Siriano had reached out about dressing her for the premiere.
Megan Mullally said she couldn’t find someone to style her even though she was hosting an event.
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“Will & Grace” star Megan Mullally is hosting the 2019 Screen Actors Guild Awards, but back in December, Mullally said that designers weren’t interested in dressing her for the event, as USA Today reported.
She spoke out on Instagram, captioning a photo, “… looks like I will be buying my dress online though, as per my usual, even though there is literally a 100% chance that I will be on camera because I’M HOSTING IT… Designers do not send me dresses … “
And, again, shortly after Mullally’s post went public, Siriano offered to create something for her to wear to the event, USA Today added.
Octavia Spencer said she once had a tough time finding a dress to wear to the Golden Globes.
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Octavia Spencer received a number of award season nominations back in 2012, but she also told reporters that year that she was having a hard time finding a dress for the Golden Globes.
“I’m just a short chubby girl,” Spencer told reporters at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, per The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s hard for me to find a dress to wear to something like this! It’s a lot of pressure, I’ll tell ya. No designers are coming to me! Maybe I should have sworn off peanut butter last year instead of this year.”
Spencer ended up winning the Golden Globe for best supporting actress that year for her role as Minny Jackson in “The Help.”
Ashley Graham said she didn’t attend the Met Gala because she couldn’t find someone to dress her.
- Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
In 2016, Graham told The Cut that she’d been “on hold” for the Met Gala, but didn’t attend because she couldn’t find anyone to dress her. “I couldn’t get a designer to dress me,” she said. “You can’t just show up in jeans and a T-shirt.”
The model also appeared on the January 2017 cover of British Vogue and in her editor’s letter, former editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman called attention to designers who wouldn’t send samples for Graham.
“The shoot was put together fairly last-minute and we are all very grateful to the people at Coach who, under the creative direction of Stuart Vevers, moved speedily to provide clothes for us that had to come from outside their sample range,” Shulman wrote. “They were enthusiastic about dressing a woman who is not a standard model, but sadly there were other houses that flatly refused to lend us their clothes.”
When she was in Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé said she couldn’t find a designer to dress her and the rest of the group.
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Even Beyoncé has had a hard time finding designers to dress her in the past. Beyoncé was named the 2016 CFDA Fashion Icon and, according to People, she said that when she was a member of Destiny’s Child, designers didn’t want to dress the group.
“When we were starting out in Destiny’s Child, high-end labels, they didn’t want to dress four black, country, curvy girls,” Beyoncé said in her speech, as per People’s reports. “And we couldn’t afford designer dresses and couture. My mother was rejected from every showroom in New York. But like my grandmother, she used her talent and her creativity to give her children their dreams.”
Dascha Polanco said her industry friends have told her designers just don’t have her size.
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“Orange Is The New Black” star Dascha Polanco has also gotten candid about her struggle to find designers willing to dress her for events and award shows.
“I understand that it’s business, but still, it’s like, really? My industry friends, who are clear and honest with me say, ‘Girl, they don’t have your size, and you’re not at that level yet, so you have to either move that way or just build those relationships so that later in the future maybe it happens,'” Polanco told Vogue.
Rachel Bloom bought her own Gucci gown.
- REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez
“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” star Rachel Bloom bought her own dress to wear to the 2017 Emmys, Vogue reported. Buying a Gucci gown was Bloom’s solution to the problem of designers not being willing to dress her, as she reportedly told E!’s Giuliana Rancic.
“I bought this dress because Gucci is not lending me a dress,” she told “E! Live Red Carpet” of the look.
Danielle Brooks said it doesn’t matter how many awards she wins, a lot of people still won’t design for her.
Actress Danielle Brooks said she has also struggled with finding designers willing to work with her.
“When I first started, I wanted to fit in. I wanted to be so inclusive with my style and it was really hard,” the “Orange Is The New Black” star told Vogue. “I haven’t been given an opportunity to wear these big-name designers, it has never been an option whether I had a stylist or didn’t. A lot of people won’t design for me, no matter how many SAG awards, Tony nominations, Grammy wins; it doesn’t matter.”
Christina Hendricks said she couldn’t find designers who would lend her dresses.
- Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Image
“Mad Men” star Christina Hendricks said finding gowns to wear to events has proved to be difficult in the past.
“People have been saying some nice, wonderful things about me. Yet not one designer in town will loan me a dress,” the actress said, per Racked. “They only lend out a size zero or two. So I’m still struggling for someone to give me a darn dress. This has always been my size.”
Gabourey Sidibe said designers won’t give her clothes because she’s “too fat.”
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Actress, director, and author Gabourey Sidibe said she still struggles to find designers who want to dress her for award shows and events.
She told Teen Vogue that designers won’t give her clothes because she’s “too fat.”
Speaking at Curvy Con, the plus-size fashion convention, Sidibe told Teen Vogue, “Even though we are moving towards more visibility for plus-size people, there is a lot [of] pushback. So it’s important to keep fighting [and] to keep being visible until the conversation changes and [it] is no longer about our bodies because I’m not my body. I’m a whole person.”
Khloe Kardashian said she has more options after losing weight than she did before.
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Khloe Kardashian told HarpersBazaar.com that she didn’t have many styling options before but she does now after her size has changed.
“There would always be this attention on Kourtney and Kim, but I was too much work for [stylists] or they had nothing in my size,” she added. “I wasn’t even that crazy big!”
The Good American designer also noted that she still works with the same stylist that she worked with since the first season of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” because she’s always made her feel beautiful.
“Other people actually said, ‘I just can’t work with you’ – because I was too big,” Kardashian added. “That always hurt my feelings, of course.”
Actress Jane Seymour said “not every designer” will dress someone of her age.
Actress Jane Seymour, who is 68 years old, told The Guardian that she used to borrow a range of designer gowns, but now she’s used to re-wearing dresses … and she has no problem doing it.
“I was never paid by a designer to wear anything, although nowadays not every designer will dress someone my age,” she told the publication. “I don’t care whether re-wearing clothes is acceptable or not – if I’m feeling the dress and the occasion, and if it fits, then I’ll wear it again.’
Bebe Rexha has said designers wouldn’t dress her because of her size.
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Bebe Rexha was nominated for a 2019 Grammy award but, prior to the event, the star revealed that she couldn’t find anyone willing to dress her.
And the “Me, Myself & I” singer took to Instagram on Monday to share her experience.
“I had to get this off my chest,” Rexha captioned her Instagram video. “If you don’t like my fashion style or my music that’s one thing. But don’t say you can’t dress someone that isn’t a runway size. Empower women to love their bodies instead of making girls and women feel less than by their size. We are beautiful any size! Small or large! And my size eight a– is still going to the Grammys.”
“So all the people who said I’m thick and I can’t wear your dresses, f— you, I don’t want to wear your f—ing dresses,” she said in the Instagram video.
After she posted on Instagram, a number of designers commented on the post, offering to dress her for the event – and she ended up wearing a show-stopping gown by Monsoori.