Grammy nominee blasts designers for dubbing her 'too big' to dress
today Jan 22, 2019
An American pop star up for Best New Artist at next month's Grammys said she's struggling to find a dress for the ceremony, with designers calling her "too big."
Bebe Rexha -- a singer who also nabbed a nomination for the tender country pop duet "Meant to Be" -- called out designers on social media for refusing to craft her a custom gown, in what has become a perennial issue on the red carpet.
"I had my team hit [up] a lot of designers," the 29-year-old said. "And a lot of them do not want to dress me because I'm too big."
"If a size 6/8 is too big, then I don't know what to tell you. Then I don't want to wear your fucking dresses," Rexha said.
"You're saying that all the women in the world that are size 8 and up are not beautiful and they cannot wear your dresses."
An American size 8 converts to approximately 40 in Europe and 12 in Britain.
Celebrities including singer Adam Lambert and model Tyra Banks tweeted their support for Rexha, who said her "size 8 ass" will still be attending the Grammys gala on February 10.
Rexha did not specify which designers had turned her down, but her rant underscored the enduring challenge faced by women artists who can't shimmy into samples, generally limited to runway model sizes 0-4.
In 2016, actress Leslie Jones drew attention to the issue after tweeting that she had nothing to wear to the premiere of Ghostbusters, a film she starred in, due to her size.
"It's so funny how there are no designers wanting to help me with a premiere dress for a movie," tweeted Jones, who is known for her antics on hit comedy show Saturday Night Live.
"Hmmm that will change and I remember everything."
Designer Christian Siriano came to the rescue, dressing the statuesque actress in an off-the-shoulder, power-red column gown with a thigh-high slit.
Not sample size
"It shouldn't be exceptional to work with brilliant people just because they're not sample size. Congrats aren't in order, a change is," Siriano tweeted of the episode.
On Tuesday, he offered a hand to Rexha, tweeting "we have dressed @BebeRexha a few times and would love to do it again!"
The New York-based designer later said dressing Jones became a silver bullet for sales.
"We've sold hundreds of that red gown," Siriano told People magazine. "Certain celebrities, when they wear clothes, people immediately want it."
"Our wildcard is when we dress Leslie."
California-based Japanese designer Tadashi Shoji has also made it his business to cater to a spectrum of bodies.
His techniques include ruching and draping to flatter everyone from size 0 petite to 24 -- what he refers to as "queen size."
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