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American Eagle Makes Extended Size Denim More Accessible

American Eagle is becoming more size inclusive.

Starting immediately with its Fall ’19 denim collection, the specialty retailer will offer for the first-time men’s denim for sizes 26-48, and it’s expanding its women’s jeans from 00-20 up to size 24. All sizes will be available in stores just in time for the back-to-school shopping season.

Previously, the retailer had been selling its extended women’s sizes online only.

“We had a model in our window wearing a size that we don’t carry in stores,” Chad Kessler, American Eagle’s global brand president, told Glamour. “She’s wearing jeans that we carry online. We said, ‘This is silly. She’s going to be on the window, we want [the jeans] everywhere.’”

As part of its ongoing inclusivity initiative, American Eagle added a new curvy fit to its women’s line earlier this year. By Spring 2020, the company promises extended sizing for all women’s bottoms—not just denim—both in-store and online. Additionally, mannequins sizes 4, 8 and 16 are set to hit stores later this month.

American Eagle’s dedication to inclusivity is a direct reflection of its sister brand Aerie, which has seen a 14 percent comps gain in the first quarter thanks in part to its focus on body positivity.

And the message is growing louder in the denim category.

Reformation permanently added size 14-24 to its denim range last year. DL1961’s Spring ’19 collection was its first to offer sizes 14w to 24w.

Roland Gossage, CEO of e-commerce data company GroupBy, said recent inclusivity initiatives adopted by popular retailers are as good for society as they are for business.

“Big, small, short, tall, bigger on top, bigger on the bottom, slim, built, you name it, people come in all shapes and sizes. Discrimination is not only bad for a society’s culture, but it is also bad for business,” Gossage said. “By including clothes of all sizes, brands not only expand their shopper base but also contribute to making the world a more inclusive place for adolescents and millennials suffering from body image issues.”

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