A customer has called out Sydney-based fashion label SONYA MODA for blocking her on Instagram after she asked where she could find photos of a size 12 model wearing a particular dress.
Melbourne woman Beth Wilson explained what went down in a TikTok which has since gone viral, receiving more than 690 comments and 29,000 likes.
@bethwilson_mua POV: you just wanted to see the dress in a size 12 #fashiontok #midsizefashion #midsizegal ♬ original sound – Beth Wilson
In the video, Wilson said she was scrolling through Instagram when she saw a dress from SONYA MODA that caught her eye and visited the brand’s website to check it out.
“I noticed they sell this dress up to a size 16 but there was no one on the website wearing it except for this model,” she said.
“It’s not completely uncommon so I headed over to their Instagram to see if I could see someone wearing it who was closer to my size.
“I also couldn’t see anyone around a size 12 or up on their feed, nor could I see much size inclusivity on their highlighted stories.”
Wilson then commented on a post promoting the dress, asking if SONYA MODA had “any pics of someone beyond a size 10” wearing it.
The brand replied that it “caters for all women of all sizes and repost many of our customers who share their posts”.
Wilson responded asking where she could find said posts, noting she’d seen photos of pregnant women on SONYA MODA’s feed, but not women over a size 12 who weren’t pregnant. The brand didn’t reply to her.
In the thread, another customer commented: “‘women of all sizes’ except those beyond a 16,” to which SONYA MODA replied: “I wouldn’t be questioning a brand who creates pieces for plus size women. We have reposted many plus size women on our stories.”
Wilson responded, querying the use of the word “plus size” considering ABS data from 2021 showed the average size for Australian women was 14-16.
She said she refreshed her Instagram notifications and realised the entire thread had been deleted and she’d been blocked from SONYA MODA’s account.
Wilson told PEDESTRIAN.TV it wasn’t so much the brand’s limited sizing that was infuriating but rather the fact its promotional content wasn’t reflective of its complete size range.
“Unfortunately it’s pretty standard for mainstream brands to only go up to a size 16 at best, so the ranges of sizes available isn’t what is frustrating,” she said.
“I was really hoping to see images of women across their whole size range represented somewhere. Even if it was user generated content, it would be helpful and would no doubt sell more clothes if these are the sizes they are stocking.”
My thoughts exactly TBH.
In a statement provided to PEDESTRIAN.TV, SONYA MODA director Sonya Mefaddi said: “Firstly I am sorry to hear of Beth’s experience with the brand — it would never be our intention to make anyone feel excluded or unworthy.”
“When I started the brand 3 years ago, I sampled everything in my size (size 12) as it was important for me and still is to ensure our fit would work for all women.
“Sadly, I learnt quickly this wasn’t feasible as buyers request to see samples in a traditional sample size 8 and as a young brand it’s just not feasible for us at this time to create 2 sets of samples or to hire a second model on our shoots. We repost and share organic content from all our customers for this reason.”
SONYA MODA did not respond to PEDESTRIAN.TV’s questions asking if the brand blocked Wilson on Instagram.
“I have not received an apology from SONYA MODA nor has the brand reached out. In fact, I am still blocked,” Wilson said.
Given the issue of inclusivity within the Australian — and worldwide — fashion landscape, to see this kind of customer service is disappointing.
Wilson said the point of her TikTok was “to open up a conversation about the underrepresentation of all sizes at all levels of retail,” and kudos to her for doing so. I hope it triggers a broader conversation into the bare minimum that brands need to do to ensure customers of all sizes are represented.