Recently we introduced you to a brand new plus size clothing store, City Chic. Hailing from Australia, this store provides a wide selection of styles, and has now recently expanded it’s reach and also completely revamped it’s website. With so much going on lately at City Chic, we wanted to get to know more about this unique new store and City Chic general manager Phil Ryan, was very kind to talk to us about City Chic, who they are and what makes them one of the hottest curvy stores currently online. So what follows, is a quick interview between Pasazz.net and City Chic…
1. Tell us a bit about the early days, and the start of City Chic. When was the store founded?
“The store was founded in 2004 and the first store was in Melbourne, Victoria. It was super exciting to be the pioneer for the fashion forward plus size industry in Australia. The customers and the public just loved it. Once word got around we had people from all over Australia come to shop with us.”
2. What was the motivation behind opening up a curvy focused store?
“I had loads of plus sized friends and they were always complaining that they did not want to look like their mothers and wanted the latest fashions to suit their shape. We took a risk and thought that people would support the venture and they did. I love fashion and have always worked in the fast fashion area, as we are able to produce hot fashions fast, seeing the looks on our customers face when they walk out of the store with something they love and is on trend is all the motivation I need to continue on this exciting journey.”
3. What style of clothing do you specialize in, and what sizes do your clothes come in?
“We are bold, sexy, sassy and chic, it is all about the latest fashion looks and what’s HOT in sizes 14 to 24. Dresses are our best selling category, with the cuts of our dresses suited perfectly to the shape of our curvalicious customer. We offer formal and casual dresses in the latest styles and prints. We want our lady’s to look and feel sexy on a night out and on the edge of fashion for a day out with the girls. Our jeans are a fantastic cut and fabrication, with the extra stretch allowing them to suit all body shapes.”
4. Are the size cuts, tailored for the plus size figure?
“It sure is! Our design and production team have years of experience in plus size fashion. Our designer is a curvy lady who knows what works for our girls. We take the latest looks and adapt them to the plus size figure.”
What makes City Chic clothes perfect for the plus size figure?
“We do all of our patterns in a size 16 and then grade them up from there. This gives our garments the shape you need to make the most of your curves. Many brands start in a size 10 and by the time they get to an 18 or 20 all shape is lost. Our shapes are designed in sizes 14 to 24 with style and end use in mind.”
5. What are currently your top 3 selling items?
“This changes every week, with the fashions, but right now here are the top three.
i. In the Jeans it is the Glamourazon boot cut. This is our most popular jean as it is an amazing fit and suits every shape.
ii. In dresses the Lace Bodice dress with satin trim. This formal dress looks amazing for a wedding with classic accessories or for a night out on the town with chunky heels and OTT accessories.
iii. Tops it is the Knit Basque Chiffon, this garment is so flattering and will be back in store in a few weeks. The shape is so flattering and can be worn on a night out with some dark jeans or dressed down with lighter jeans.”
6. You recently revamped your online store completely, and also expanded your shipping reach. What’s new in the revamped site?
“We looked at of all the best websites in the world and developed a cutting edge website that says fashion and is bold sexy sassy and chic, like our clothes. The functionality is much better so it is easier to navigate the site to find what you want. It is also heaps easier to shop on the new site, with exceptional levels of security for payments.”
7. Where do you now ship to, and what brought about this expansion?
“We ship to the USA, UK, Canada, NZ and Australia. I get to travel the world with our design team to get inspiration for our range and I have not seen anyone giving the curvy women the latest fashions like we do at city chic. We have had such a positive response from the customers in Australia, we wanted to bring this to the world. We think curvy women everywhere should look and feel sexy, and that’s what we do! We also offer a free return service to all of these destinations if you are not happy with the fit or look, to take the risk out of shopping on-line!”
8. What exciting new things are coming up at City Chic in the next 3 to 6 months?
“In April we have our second Designer Dress Range from Billion Dollar Babes coming into store, with 4 formal dresses that are absolutely amazing. It is the first time a high end Australian designer has done work with the Plus Size industry. Our first range in November 2008 was a great success and this one looks even better.
Boots are being added to the range in April. These are custom made in 2 styles, heeled & flat; for the woman who struggles to find boots that will do all the way up. We have shown our store team and they love them. These will be our next hottest items. Each week we have new deliveries of the latest fashions from around the world, so check out the website each week to see what’s in.”