After Leslie Jones called out designers for not wanting to dress her for the premiere of Ghostbusters, Christian Siriano quickly came to her defense and created an off-the-shoulder red gown for her. What started as Leslie venting on Twitter quickly spiraled into a conversation about the fashion industry and its clients — specifically those larger than a size four.
Siriano, who's known for catering to all body types, talked to Refinery29 about how smaller labels often don't have the resources to create clothes in a wide range of sizes: "Some small brands and young designers can’t physically have samples in every single size always available — it’s just not possible [when] you have [so many] pieces in every collection."
But that doesn't mean there aren't brands with money and public support that can afford to design for all types of women and are able to do better for the industry.
"What is Dior doing? What are all those brands doing?" he added. "I'm not sure, because they have sizes readily available. If I'm a very small brand, and we’re able to do it, a big house can make something very easily — it’s just whether they choose to or not."
After tweeting about her designer dilemma, Jones faced the inevitable internet backlash, getting criticized for not taking into account the time and effort that goes into creating something custom. Some even wondered why she didn't just go out and buy a dress herself, but as Siriano points out, that's not exactly how it works.
"Brands use marketing dollars to pay for ads; dressing an actress for the red carpet is very similar. I never think of it as ‘getting free clothes.’ It's a trade," he explained. "Actresses know that in this world, a great dress at the Emmys could be a great moment for that designer in sales. That's the balance. I feel like I’m sometimes getting the better end of the deal: Usually they send the dress back, and I still get all the marketing."
In the end, Jones got her custom dress, and all was well. While it may have all been a lot of unnecessary dramatics for a red carpet dress, it brought to light a looming issue that constantly surrounds the fashion industry. As Christian said: "We should just try to make every woman feel great about themselves, because there’s enough crazy hate going on in the world."