A newcomer to the San Francisco apparel scene, Eliza Parker does something few plus-size labels manage: turn out clothing for sizes 10 and up that’s not only figure-flattering, but visually interesting, well-made and — get this — youthfully sophisticated.
Another bonus? The label, launched over the summer by 30-year-old designer and Wharton grad Jessica Tenaglia and her business partner Mark Meras, is made right here in San Francisco.
“The quality of the production here is really high…we wanted women to be able to invest in these pieces,” says Tenaglia, who set out to launch her own line of plus-size dresses after a hunt for a spring cocktail dress and a stylish business suit left her disappointed with the options available for women over size eight.
“I literally could not find a cocktail dress…and I was like this is not acceptable. I needed a suit for interviewing and I couldn’t find one off the rack and I ended up spending $1,000 to have one custom made for me, and it wasn’t that nice. And I think a lot of women have that experience…and it doesn’t make sense why there are so few options,” she says.
The lack of fashion-forward, high-quality options for women in the plus-size category has certainly always baffled us, especially considering just how much of the general female population is in need of clothing in sizes 10 and up. Why should women who wear those sizes be subjected to the bland, dowdy, tawdry or just plain boring options that are all-too-often their only choices in major department stores and the mall?
In Eliza Parker’s realm, dresses and separates are classic enough to be worn for many seasons and in both professional and social settings, but they also pack a little extra style punch, thanks to details such as ruffles in the right places, detachable belts and fetching colors like the Bordeaux dress in plum. The company also sells accessories, including jewelry and two clutches.
And instead of just relying on standard sizing, the company offers a PerfectFit system that matches shoppers up to styles best suited to their body shapes.
Says Tenaglia: “Fit is the basis of everything.”
Photography courtesy of Eliza Parker