Steering Toward Inclusivity
Plus Bus Boutique recognizes underrepresented community
By Jordan Daniels Opinions Editor
More often than not, Los Angeles perpetuates a one-size-only lifestyle that doesn’t always leave room for plus size women when it comes to fashion. There aren’t many places solely dedicated to women’s plus size fashion in the LA area, but the Plus Bus Boutique is helping to remedy this void.
The Plus Bus opened in April 2016 hoping to serve as a beacon of hope for plus size women wanting to be as fashionable as they are comfortable in the clothes they wear. The boutique is located near Glassell Park in Northeast LA in a small warehouse painted with a mix of cool and neutral colors. It houses several local brands such as “Proud Mary Fashion,” and “Unicorn Tears Vintage.”
“Plus size women are underrepresented and underserved,” said Marcy Prete, co-owner of the Plus Bus.
Prete and her business partner Jen Wilder opened the boutique after spending a year running LA Swapaholics, a pop-up clothing exchange where women donated clothes in exchange for shopping points. Shopping points went toward collecting clothing donated by other Swapaholics participants. The shop follows a similar model to Swapaholics where customers can donate clothes and receive 50 percent of the value in store credit or 25 percent of its value in cash. From there, they are encouraged to find more clothes among the many racks within the shop.
This model of recycling fashion provides a sustainable method of shopping, which is another attractive point of the store.
“We want to provide something that didn’t exist for plus-size women,” said Prete “We were tired of resorting to going online to find clothes.”
In additional to retail, the space is used to host events like vision boarding nights and most recently, a celebration party for plus size model Megan Kimberling. According to Prete, the space can also be transformed into a modeling or photo studio.
The Plus Bus’ trajectory seems to only go higher with each event they do. In April, they will host an event for Chubstr, an online publication focusing on plus size men’s fashion. Prete hopes the store will eventually sell men’s clothes to cater to the lack of fashionable retail options for plus size men as well.
Being the first, and currently only, shop of its kind in Los Angeles, the Plus Bus Boutique is establishing a space where plus size fashion is celebrated and hopes to stay a pinnacle in the community for it.
As Prete says, “come support those who support you.”