Kiwi designer Sera Lilly - Women desperate for larger clothing sizes

designer Sera Lilly (supplied)
Designer Sera Lilly provides clothes for a growing but under-provided market (Supplied)

A Kiwi fashion designer is striking back against chain stores that don't provide stylish options for larger sized Kiwi women. 

Designer Sera Lilly is behind the label 'Sera Lilly Curve', a brand founded in April 2015 by Ms Lilly and her brother Josh. 

She's also the founder of the blog and social media page 'Kiwi Curves'. 

She told Alison Mau on RadioLIVE Drive on Tuesday afternoon that for many New Zealand chain stores, creating clothes for larger women is put in the "too hard basket", as often its double the work to create a flattering outfit for larger women. 

"It's not as easy as grading a pattern from a size 8 to a size 22," Ms Lilly explained. 

Size 18 is quickly picking up as one of the most popular clothing sizes at New Zealand stores, in some cases overtaking size 16 items. 

The biggest size selling at stores like Farmers and Max are an 18, while other chain stores only go as high as 16. 

But Ms Lilly says they're missing out on a valuable market, with many Kiwi women willing to spend more for flattering clothing. 

"Nowadays there is such a big movement and people are getting more confident and wanting to show off their bodies," she said. 

"The amount of money that's out there - women who have their credit cards out and willing to pay the money as long as you can give them the stock". 

Lilly with her friend and fellow blogger Nina from 'Monochrome and Simone' in bikinis (Supplied)
Lilly with her friend and fellow blogger Nina from 'Monochrome and Simone' (Supplied)

Ms Lilly says one of the biggest problems with getting plus-size clothing into mainstream shopping was a stigma around larger bodies that's "just terrible". 

"People immediately think you're unfit and unhealthy," she said.

"But fit isn't a number on the scale."

She has dressed many well-known New Zealand women in her 'Curve' brand, including athletes like netballer Cathrine Latu and performers like Anika Moa. 

netballer Catherine Latu
Netballer Catherine Latu wears size 16-18 in the brand (Supplied)

Ms Lilly pointed out that "most of us are never going to look like airbrushed pictures" and that "size doesn't dictate your overall health".

"You are more than a number on the scale or the size of clothing you wear," she said.