Shopping for clothes, especially jeans, can often elicit a groan. (Ladies, am I right?) For any woman, it can be a long, frustrating and altogether disheartening venture particularly if you’re curvy or plus-sized. Even if you’re a size 4 but have hips, you’re still left with an awful waistband gap in the back or jeans that start to sag throughout the day. So when I met the team at Poetic Justice, and learned more about their accessible high-quality denim and fashion line for curvy women… it hit me. There’s literally no one else doing this in fashion right now. “How many women must need this?” I asked myself. After being a fly on the wall for a minute, I had to learn more about this fashion brand.
I was invited to their photo shoot in downtown Los Angeles. Surrounded by photographers, hair stylists, makeup artists and six beautiful models of all shapes and sizes, it was easy to see why women are flocking to this gorgeous, once-cult brand in huge numbers.
This brand at times has been accused of being less of a mere fashion brand, and more of a movement. It approaches fashion in three unique, refreshing ways.
The Poetic Justice fashion brand specifically caters to those body types that are curvier than a straight size 2, carrying sizes 4-24. This brand offers chic curvy-fit apparel and denim styles that are fashion-forward and make a statement, while always taking your curves and body type into consideration.
Poetic Justice is not a plus-size brand, but they do carry plus sizes. When they first launched in 2014, the body positive movement hadn’t taken off yet. Still, there was Poetic Justice catering to curvy women with narrow waists and thicker hips, thighs, and booties. As the body positive movement grew, the term “curvy” more frequently referred to sizes 14 and up (an underserved group as well). In 2017, the trend of offering clothing for plus size women really took off, while Poetic Justice had been catering to underserved curvy women of all sizes from the very beginning.
The brand even carries three styles with different silhouettes in their signature Chanelle Fit (or extreme curvy fit), which is crafted for women with more dramatic curves or a more significant waist-to-hip ratio. Women with this body type have the most difficulty finding pants, skirts, and jeans that fit. Their curves may be bolder than the JLos and Beyoncés of the world and most denim brands only have one curvy fit. But Poetic Justice knows curves aren’t one size fits all, making them one of the best jean and fashion brands for women with curvy rears and wider hips.
What’s even more beautiful is that this brand emphasizes the curvy body type. Every year, there’s another story about a girl who’s been kicked out of her prom when her dress has been deemed inappropriate due to her curvy silhouette. This brand celebrates the elegance and beauty of a woman’s shape by highlighting curves, not shaming them or covering them up.
The Merging of Quality & Accessibility
The Los Angeles-based line caters to trendsetting women, as it merges standout features, colors, and silhouettes. Despite a growing body positivity movement, the right bottoms and jeans for women with curves are still incredibly hard to find.
Apart from Poetic Justice, the most popular options seem to be cheap, inconsistent brands or overpriced styles that are too out of touch with the average customer. Nothing exists for the everyday fashionista. So how does Poetic Justice offer such incredible style and quality at such an accessible price point?
“We have two proprietary denim fabrics that you can’t find anywhere else on the market. Our fabrics fit your curves all day long. No bag, no sag, just body-hugging fabric you can wear day in and day out and will always keep its shape. It has incredible stretch and incredible recovery,” says Marcus Lansden, VP of Design and Merchandising.
Poetic Justice then manufactures their cutting-edge designs from patterns and fits that have been specifically developed to accommodate curves. Backed by a company with over 20 years of experience in the fashion apparel industry, the brand has access to expertise and manufacturing abilities that increase efficiencies and reduce cost, making their product more affordable for their customers.
Being a woman of color myself, I know how exciting it is to see a movie full of women who look like me or a new model who resembles me. When I competed and was crowned Miss California and won first runner-up in Miss America 2014, I also knew how important it was for little girls who look like me to see themselves and their beauty in me.
Poetic Justice makes a deliberate choice to put women of color at the center of their brand’s message. Director of Communications Ashley Ludgood emphasizes that their inclusive brand is open to anyone who likes and fits their clothing. However, it makes no apologies for making their brand a tribute to black women.
“Poetic Justice started as a curve-fit solution for women with small waists but bigger hips and thighs and booties. And our home base was primarily denim jeans and fashion bottoms. Since then we’ve expanded into all kinds of clothing: dresses, jumpsuits and fashion tops,” said Ludgood. “Along the way, we realized most of our customers are women of color and we’ve been able to put our customer at the center of her own conversation about fashion because there weren’t other brands doing that. It was very organic.”
Part of their decision was also derived from an awareness of a less-than-inclusive fashion industry. While there are a few brands that cater to women with curves now, very few are catering to African American customers. Ludgood explains that though curves are nearly trendy now, there’s been a long and winding history of what it means to be black and curvy at the same time. Poetic Justice seeks to honor that.
“There once was a time when there was an unspoken rule that there could only be one black model on a runway. But when your brand is predominantly serving black and brown women, it’s irresponsible to make your customer a token in her own fashion home,” says Ludgood. “Why can’t there be 6 African-American, Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Latinx, or African models on your homepage? Blackness is diverse. The Poetic Justice woman deserves to see herself and that sisterhood, too.”
That cultural focus extends beyond branding and also into the core of their design. Lansden explains that their design team spends months researching international trends both from runways and the streets. They merge together carefully crafted concepts to develop styles that are special and stunning, which can be translated specifically to the needs of their customer. A woman’s skin tone, age and cultural background can have an impact on her preferences in style, colors, and prints.
I truly believe that when a clothing brand feels that it represents a woman, and it makes her feel beautiful, it’s a recipe for success. Poetic Justice creates pieces that are sexy, trendy, and make a statement when a woman walks in the room.
Hearing about that denim fabric and watching all the models try on chic outfit after chic outfit, I started to get an itch to model some clothes myself! I tried on a long denim skirt with a matching cropped denim zip-up top. The fabric was fitted and the outfit made me feel and look amazing. I almost walked right out of there!
If you’ve ever struggled to find beautiful, stylish clothes that fit your body and are made to last, Poetic Justice is the brand for you. This brand not only makes great clothes in sizes ranging from 4-24, but also actively represents their customers and includes them in the conversation about clothing and style. In the fashion game, Poetic Justice is ahead of the curve!
UPDATE! Poetic Justice is hosting a Hoops 4 The Holidays Giveaway! (Value $1500+) Make sure you enter before the buzzer!
Crystal Lee is Miss California 2013 and one of the hosts of the lifestyle show, “This Is LA.” Discover all the best businesses Los Angeles has to offer by catching us Saturdays and Sunday on CBS2 LA. Click here for listings.