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Michael Kaplan - Founding Partner of Fashion To Figure interviews Michael Kaplan, founder and CEO of Fashion To Figure stores

Michael Kaplan - Founder and CEO of Fashion To Figure

Fashion To Figure “FTF” is a fresh company, quite new in the plus size clothins scene. Created by one of New York’s pre-eminent retailing families , the family that invented full figured fashion over 100 years ago, FTF provides a complete shopping experience for ladies sizes 14-26. had the pleasure of speaking with founding partner and CEO of FTF, Michael Kaplan. Mike makes sure that the company runs well but he also spends a lot of time at FTF stores making sure that full figured women are having the best possible experience when shopping at FTF. In the interview detailed below, Mike talk to us about what makes FTF stand out from the crown, and what it means to be the great grandson of the pioneering lady in plus size fashion, Lane Bryant.

Mike previously co-founded, an online community and shopping portal for full-figured women purchased by Charming Shoppes in 2000. Prior to that, he was a Venture Capitalist with RRE Ventures and a financial analyst with Lazard in New York. He studied jazz saxophone at The Manhattan School of Music, is a graduate of Brown University and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Read on to get to know more about Mike, FTF and his passions.

Pasazz: To start off with… tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from and where did you grow up?

Michael: I was born and raised in New York City – the garment capital of the world! 

Pasazz: What is your background in the fashion industry?

Michael: I don’t really have a background in fashion and retail personally.  I worked in finance and start-ups between college and business school.  My brother has always been in the retail business as has my family on both sides – my dad’s family had a manufacturing business and my mother’s a retail chain.

 Pasazz: What moved you to get into the plus size clothing business and open the doors of Fashion To Figure?

Michael: I grew up around the preeminent large size clothing chain – Lane Bryant.  Lane Bryant was my great-grandmother and my dad is the one who engineered the sale of our family’s business some 20 years ago.  With the full-fashion revolution being so “close to home”, I became interested in the changes to the market since our family exited.  I saw lots of new brands emerging but nobody was paying any attention to improving the shopping experience for the full-figured woman – the person so important to our family for so long.  At business school, I jumped at the chance to find a solution to the problem.  Fashion To Figure Stores is the product of that work.  My partners Nick and Frances are the pros that have helped to turn the vision into stores that really do provide a great new option for women seeking more fashion choices at unbeatable prices.

Pasazz: What does Fashion to Figure offer plus size women, that other plus size store do not?

Michael: FTF can deliver an experience that other stores offering a single collection cannot match.  We have over 75 brands, related separates and all the latest styles for women to choose from.  We present our items in a way that helps store visitors to buy either entire outfits or great one-off pieces.  In addition, our FTF Fashion Stylists are there to personally advise our store guests.  These women know our fashions inside and out and will help put together outfits, tell how things wash, advise what not to wear, point out if something looks good, explain how to size all of our different brands, and much more.  Finally, at FTF you’ll find that your dollars go much further with our unbeatable prices.

Pasazz: What are your responsibilities at Fashion To Figure? Perhaps you can also describe a typical day for you at Fashion To Figure.

Michael: Every day at FTF is an adventure.  We are a start up company so my partners and I are all chief cook and bottle washer – everyone does a little bit of everything.  We love being on the floor most.   It’s where we learn, interact and respond to our store guests – that’s the magic of the whole thing.

Pasazz: From a male's point of view, what is your opinion of the plus size woman's image as depicted (or perhaps not such much) in the media? Do you feel there is a lack of exposure of the curvy woman's beauty in the media?

Fashion To FigureMichael: I think there has been a lot of progress over the last 5 years in increasing the profile of plus size women in the media.  I still don’t think we have come far enough.  Remember that I come from a family where my great grandmother had to fight for years just to run an advert in the New York Herald Tribune for the maternity clothing that she made.  Our market has always been under-served and under-represented.  That is part of the reason why there is so much excitement about FTF.

Pasazz: What does the future hold for Fashion To Figure?

Michael: At our existing locations, our store guests are very excited about the new shopping experience that we offer at FTF.  Our goal is to introduce that experience to more and more women, wherever they may be.  We will do that by opening new stores and by continuing to offer women who can’t visit us the opportunity to shop online at  We are committed to making FTF the most trusted resource for full-fashion and a favorite place to visit. 

Many thanks goes out to Mike at FTF for his co-operation in making this interview happen. If you haven't already done so, visit Fashion To Figure today!

NOTE: This article may not be re-published, in any form, without the explicit written acknowledgement and permission of