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The retailer announced their new BODEQUALITY initiative which will also extend sizing, diversify their mannequins and bring on Aidy Bryant as the face of the campaign.
Old Navy is making major strides towards size inclusivity.
And the sister company to Gap just announced that they are doing more than simply expanding their size range. Beginning on August 20, the Old Navy BODEQUALITY initiative will launch in an effort to democratize style and normalize all bodies. In addition to stocking sizes 0-28 in all storefronts (and size 30 online), the brand will remove the term “plus size” altogether, with women’s apparel congregating in one seamless experience and Old Navy offering all women’s styles in every size.
“We saw an opportunity to meaningfully change the women’s shopping experience by making it more inclusive regardless of size,” said Nancy Green, president and CEO of Old Navy, in a statement. “BODEQUALITY is not a one-time campaign, but a full transformation of our business in service to our customers based on years of working closely with them to research their needs.”
The new endeavour is reimagining the retailer’s shopping environment (in stores *and* online) to be more size-inclusive, promising women the inclusive fashion and experience they deserve. Every Old Navy store will also now display mannequins in sizes 4, 12, and 18, and virtual shoppers can use a new toggle feature online to select their preferred default model display size.
To celebrate the occasion, Shrill actress and Saturday Night Live cast member Aidy Bryant will star as the face of the new campaign, which will also be released on August 20.
An ambitious initiative, to say the least, it’s a historic moment as Old Navy becomes the first business of this scale to guarantee size inclusivity across its 1,200 stores. However, the true gem in this treasure trove of information is the pricing. The Old Navy BODEQUALITY initiative will not charge more for bigger sizing. Often referred to as “fat tax,” many retailers — including Old Navy previously — charge more for larger sizes of the exact same product, reasoning that the garments use more material.
“Democracy of style is so important to us but equally important is the democracy of service, and so when you walk into an Old Navy store, you should feel included no matter what size you wear,” Alison Partridge Stickney, head of women’s and maternity merchandising at Old Navy, told Vogue.
The Old Navy plus-size initiative recognizes there is more to inclusive sizing than the all too common tokenism that leads many brands to make plus sizes only available online or at limited stores. As shared in the press release, the retailer has spent the past few years reinventing and restructuring its fit process. Old Navy administered “body scans of 389 women to create digital avatars based on real women’s bodies, fit clinics with models in sizes 20-28 to revamp the industry practice of scaling up from smaller sizes and partnered with full-time fit models in size eight and 20.” Vogue also reported that all in-store staff would be receiving training, so the in-person shopping experience matches the diversity of clientele size.
“This is our platform for how we will show up for women across retail from this point forward at Old Navy,” Partridge Stickney told WWD. “All women deserve to be included in the joy of shopping. And for too long, too many women have been excluded when it comes to shopping. All you have to do is go to your local mall, shop on your favourite site, and see that there is not the same choice for a woman who wears a size 16 or 18 or bigger. We saw an opportunity to change that, to see how we could take that feeling of exclusion and flip it to inclusion.”