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15 Times Designers And Stylists Proved That Saying You Can't Make Clothes For Celebs Who Aren't "Sample Size" Is Just A Bad Excuse

"If a size 6/8 is 'too big,' then...I don't want to wear your dresses." —Bebe Rexha

During awards season, most of the outfits you see celebrities wearing on the red carpet were borrowed from the designers who made them. The celebs' stylists are often the ones in charge of tracking down the best options.

One of the biggest issues with borrowing outfits from designers is the fact that most of the clothes are made to be "sample size" — which typically ranges from a US size 0 to 4. So, there aren't many options for people outside of that specific size range.

However, some designers and stylists are working to change the lack of size inclusivity in high fashion. Of course, there's still a lot of progress to be made, but they're setting a good precedent for the future of fashion.

Here are 15 times designers and stylists proved that saying you can't dress someone who isn't "sample size" is a bad excuse:

1. When Ashley Graham landed the British Vogue cover in 2017, many fashion houses "flatly refused" to lend clothes for the shoot.

However, Coach and creative director Stuart Vevers "moved speedily to provide clothes for [the team] that had to come from outside their sample range."

2. At the 2012 Palm Springs International Film Festival, Octavia Spencer revealed to red carpet reporters that "no designers [were] coming to [her]" for the upcoming Golden Globes because she's "just a short, chubby girl."

Tadashi Shoji — who first began working with Spencer during the press tour for The Help — came through with a stunning lavender gown.

Octavia holding her Golden Globe while wearing a beautiful lavender dress

"It wasn’t so much of a big deal for us. It’s just our point of view: Whoever comes to us asking for a dress, we welcome them, whether they [wear] petite, plus, or straight sizes,” Shoji told Page Six Style.

3. In the '90s, Emme became the first plus-size model to appear on a billboard, be named to People's "50 Most Beautiful" list, and sign a contract with a major beauty brand — but she was never able to walk in New York Fashion Week.

She never got further than the front row, until Chromat invited her to make her NYFW runway debut in 2017.

Emme walking the catwalk wearing what looks like a see-through cage in the shape of a short dress

4. Prior to the 2020 Oscars, E! host Nina Parker wasn't happy with the "very limited plus-size options" in couture fashion, so she designed her own gown.

I designed and created my own Oscars dress this year due to very limited plus size options. I’ll create a lane of my own. You CAN have couture AND curves! #Oscars #ERedCarpet

@theninaparker / Via Twitter: @theninaparker

She designed the dress with Melissa Mercedes, then commissioned Lynne Carter Atelier to bring it to life.

"I've been doing award season a few years now, and I think a lot of people don't know that there are a lot of stylists who don't even know how to style a plus-size woman," Parker told BuzzFeed.

5. Barbie Ferreira told Who What Wear that shopping is "the ultimate logistical stress for [her]" because "truth be told, there is an extreme limitation to anything [she] can wear."

However, she knows "so many indie designers and places to get things," and she taught her stylist, Chris Horan, so much about plus-size fashion that they now operate on the same wavelength.

"The biggest thing that I try to accomplish for her is to be able to provide options that are fun enough and worthy of her was a learning curve for me in the sense that I didn’t think that way," Horan told Teen Vogue.

6. Khloé Kardashian noticed that the fashion industry "look[ed] at [her] more" after she lost weight, but previously, she "would never have options for clothing" at photo shoots.

However, stylist Monica Rose "would always come with racks of clothes and make me special."

When the same stylists who previously refused to work with her came knocking at her door, Kardashian turned them down. For years, she would only work with Rose.

7. Dascha Polanco had her publicist reach out to a high-end brand she "had personally invested so much money" into, but they responded, "Oh, you’re not the sizes we have, not right now, maybe in the future."

So, instead of waiting for such brands to change their ways, she tries "to work with up-and-coming designers who will make things for [her] and who will collaborate with [her]."

8. For the 2012 Oscars, Melissa McCarthy "asked five or six designers" to dress her, but they all turned her down.

So, she wore an off-the-rack Marina Rinaldi dress, but the experience inspired her to create her own clothing line — Seven7.

Three years later, the line launched, and she wore one of her own designs to the Spy premiere.

9. Before the 2016 Emmys, Aidy Bryant tweeted that having cool clothes "seems like a fairly basic request" for people of all sizes.

In response, Eloquii reached out and offered to create a custom look for her — and it was "very glamorous to [Aidy] in ways [she] maybe [hasn't] experienced before."

"I guess I don’t understand what the resistance is to it. To me, it just feels like a no-brainer that you would want to dress as many people as you could so you could represent your brand," she told People.

10. Designers refused to dress Gabourey Sidibe for her first major red carpet event, so she bought her own black dress from Torrid.

Afterward, she worked with a stylist who promised that a high-end designer would make her a dress, then backtracked.

However, she moved onto stylist Marcy Guevara-Pret, who was willing to scour the internet for outfits Sidibe would love, including this African-inspired gown she found on Etsy.

11. During the early days of Destiny's Child, high-end designers refused to work with the members because they "didn’t really want to dress four Black, country, curvy girls."

So, Tina Knowles (Beyoncé's mother) and her brother, Johnny, "made all of [the group's] first costumes, individually sewing hundreds of crystals and pearls, putting so much passion and love into every small detail."

Accepting her Fashion Icon Award, Beyoncé said, "My mother actually designed my wedding dress, my prom dress, my first CFDA Award dress, my first Grammy dress, and the list goes on and on."

12. Prior to the Ghostbusters (2016) premiere, Leslie Jones tweeted that it's "so funny how there are no designers wanting to help [her] with a premiere dress."

Christian Siriano volunteered by responding to her tweet with a waving emoji, and Jones accepted his offer.

However, she also rightfully called out the designers who refused to help her, posting, "Hmm, what a difference a tweet makes...Should I name the designers that didn’t look out?"

13. For the 2019 Grammys, Bebe Rexha had her team reach out to several designers, but a lot of them refused to dress her because she was "too big."

Calling them out in an Instagram video, she said, "If a size 6/8 is too big, then I don't know what to tell you. Then I don't want to wear your fucking dresses."

Then, she walked the red carpet in a bold Monsoori gown.

Bebe wearing a vibrant red dress with a huge, floofy red tulle

14. Danielle Brooks told Vogue that she hasn't "been given an opportunity to wear these big-name designers" and "it has never been an option, whether [she] had a stylist or didn’t."

She praised the few designers — such as Christian Siriano and Becca McCharen-Train — who've prioritized size inclusivity. She said, “I remember my first SAG Awards, I wore this dark blue dress by Christian Siriano and a girl re-created that entire look for her prom. I thought, Yes! It matters."

However, she also called out the fashion industry for treating size inclusivity like a passing trend because "they can go harder, and we should not be easy on them."

In 2017, Danielle designed her own clothing line for Universal Standard.

15. And finally, Chromat founder Becca McCharen-Tran told As/Is, "Sample sizing tends to be an excuse that other designers cite as a reason why they don't feature a range of sizes in their runway shows."

So, for Chromat's 2018 NYFW show, model Sonny Turner was styled in a shirt that said "sample size" because "at Chromat, we know that the designer has the power to choose what size they prototype their collection in."

Sonny Turner walking the catwalk in a revealing outfit that simply says "Sample size" three times

Then, at the label's 2019 NYFW show, Tess Holliday modeled a dress with the phrase "sample size" printed on it.

Tess Holliday walking the catwalk wearing a full white dress with "Sample size" printed all over it

McCharen-Tran said, "We want everyone to know it's not their body that needs to change to fit designer clothes, clothes need to be designed to fit each individual body."