By Jessica King
Fashion is for every woman — no matter her size or age — at ISIS Fuller Figure Fashion.
The new plus-size clothing and accessory store at 711 Main St. opened March 27. Owners Elizabeth Hilton and her daughter, Sally, sell clothing in sizes 14 to 36, jewelry, sunglasses, purses and other accessories for any size.
“It’s so difficult to find plus-size clothes,” said Sally. “Seventy percent of American society is plus size and it’s astounding that we still only cater to the other 30 percent.”
Sally and her mother moved from London to Ramona 15 months ago to be closer to Elizabeth’s sister, who lives in Julian. Sally said the discrimination that takes place against fuller figured women is no different here than in Europe and she has a few tricks up her own curvier sleeve to help counter the injustice.
For starters, the 2,000-square-foot shop has an open floor plan with plenty of room for groups of women to walk around together and enjoy the shopping experience. Next, clothing racks are not organized so that smaller sizes come first, followed by larger ones.
It’s all about the psychology of it.
“A 3x doesn’t have to rummage from the back,” she said. “The other way, you end up shopping for your size, not the actual clothing and that’s not fair. It should be looking for what you like, not what just you can fit. It should be enjoyable.”
To that end, ISIS Fuller Figure Fashion plans to hold a “How big is your brave?” contest next month to encourage fuller figured women and those who love and appreciate them to honor the person, not the size.
“We should be embracing who we are and not getting stuck with the stigma that you’re plus size and that’s all you are,” she said.
The contest will consist of women in the community being nominated, either by themselves or someone else, for a makeover that will include clothing from ISIS Fuller Figure Fashion, beauty from Bella Mia Salon & Spa and, hopefully, a photography shoot.
The Hiltons hope to make it an annual event. Sally also hopes to visit local elementary schools in the near future to talk to students about the contest and what it feels like to be bullied for your size.
“It’s not just about the business,” said Sally. “It should be about being part of the community as well.”
Elizabeth echoed the sentiment.
“We’ve had a very good reception from Ramona,” said Elizabeth. “There are lovely, lovely people in Ramona.”
Other plans at ISIS Fuller Figure Fashion include fashion shows and classes on how to dress for your size. A website that will accept online orders is in the works.