A Plus Market brings such a diverse range of plus size fashion together, there really is something for everyone no matter their style.
For those that love vintage A Plus Market’s August Birthday market is going to thrill you as we have the fierce and fabulous ladies from Hey Fatty attending with their extensive range of pre-90’s vintage.
I’ve been privileged to work quite closely with both the ladies behind Hey Fatty as we form part of the organising committee for The Curvy Couture Roadshow. Through this experience I have got to know them well and am pleased to call them my mates. Here though you can get to know them too and of course find out more about their brand and what inspires them.
Very kindly they have shared an interview they did recently with a pretty well known Australian Women’s mag, as they wanted to share the unedited story with us.
How did HEY FATTY come about?
We both work in the same office and have been carpooling for about 5 years. In the car every day together we have plenty of time for ranting about everything we like and don’t like, and both being fatties it was natural for us to find a mutual dissatisfaction for the lack lustre plus size fashion available to us. As we’re both vintage and recycled clothing fans, we like to make our own fashion up and as it’s even harder to find anything above a size 16 in Australian second-hand stores, let alone unique pieces, Teresa joked one day that we should start our own business. We both stopped and decided it was no joke and have never looked back.
Where do you find your pieces?
We work with different wholesalers who source clothes from Europe and USA. It’s tricky because they are used to supplying stores bulk lots up to size 14, so we have to spend some more time sorting through stock to find what we need. We’ve found some really helpful suppliers who love what we’re doing. We also have private collectors or shopaholics who approach us and let us raid their wardrobe which is always fun. One contact has a huge collection and we’ve been convincing her for 2 years to let us come over, and a few weeks ago she finally said yes! We are always on the lookout for pre 1990s size 22 or beyond, as these are the hardest to find.
Who are your customers? Young? Old?
Our customers range from young fashionistas who are looking for unique pieces to women in their 30s and 40s who are tired of cheap fast fashion and love clothes with a story, plus the women of all ages who are vintage fans with a passion for a specific era.
There is a real movement towards sustainable and ethical fashion with a lot of customers trying vintage for the first time, exploring bold patterns and unique cuts they would not have previously considered, which we love!
What is the price range of your pieces?
Mostly we stock dresses and our pieces range from sleeveless simple cotton summer frocks to over the top vintage and retro evening wear with prices starting at around $30 up to around $60 depending on era, fabric and rarity.
We tend to focus on fashion from 1960s to 1990s with a more affordable price tag.
We rarely have items earlier than 1950s as prices then skyrocket and we are more about day to day fashion then rare collectible items.
How do you feel about the plus size industry in Australia?
There are so many great up and coming plus size specific designers in Australia, it was great to see them at the recent Curvy Couture Roadshow.
What is disappointing is that you don’t see these brands represented in major retailers, so the average shopper feels like there is little choice. If you go to a shopping centre you can find so much low end fast fashion in plus sizes but it’s still really hard to find quality, unique items like you can in Europe.
We’d just love to see more diversity and creativity in mainstream Australian plus size fashion, so hopefully buyers start investing in the local brands to lift the game for shoppers.
As we are focussed on vintage and recycled, we are quite niche but we know that if mainstream plus size fashion was more bold and interesting, we’d have more customers willing to experiment with clothes from other eras.
Why the name Hey Fatty?
Well it is a bit tongue in cheek but also we want to turn the tables on using the word fat as an insult. We aren’t skinny and don’t pretend to be anything else so why not proudly call ourselves fatties and have some fun with our business name too?
At markets we always have people smile and have a laugh with us, it’s been a great ice breaker and of course gets people’s attention pretty quickly. Online we sometimes have people that don’t like the name but there will always be people that aren’t on the same page as us, but there are plenty more that are!
What is truly fabulous about the Hey Fatty ladies, is that they know their vintage and are styling gurus, so if you have been thinking “I like the idea of vintage but I never see anything for me, it just doesn’t seem to suit”, then this is your opportunity.
Say Hi to Teresa and Melissa on market day and let them play dress up’s with you, finding the vintage style that’s right for you.