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Saks Fifth Avenue goes plus size

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Beginning this fall, women looking for sizes 16 and 18 will have more high-fashion styles to choose from at the designer-level racks at select Saks Fifth Avenue stores, as the brand expands its size ranges.

"Saks Fifth Avenue always strives to meet the needs of our customers. After a recent review, we concluded there are customers who desire designer clothing in sizes that are not currently available in our stores," the company said in a statement.

Saks, has for years, had its Salon Z department, which caters to plus sizes, but this new initiative targets ripped-from-the-runway looks from the likes of Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera, and will include larger sizes within designer departments. “Adding larger sizes, especially for designers who sometimes don`t sell anything larger than a 10 or 12 in their own boutiques, is a considerable commitment,” said , Deputy Fashion Director at . "It`s a real investment for these brands to make sizes in that range. It`s not just taking a pattern and making it bigger," she added.

The conversation in the fashion industry about larger sizes has gotten louder in recent months. It had been rooted in the notion that models were too thin and setting a bad example for young women. International fashion magazines are now routinely including a variety of body types in their pages.

During the last round of major fashion weeks back in February, there was a noticeable effort to cast some curvier models on the , and for its resort show in June, Chanel`s Karl Lagerfeld put size-12 model Crystal Renn in a starring role. Red-carpet favourite Marchesa, meanwhile, created a custom plus-size Oscar gown for Gabourey Sidibe.