The So What:
Aerospace and Defense company Airbus has received the green light from the US Patent and Trademark Office to trademark a reconfigurable passenger bench seat. The bench “would allow airlines to accommodate all shapes and sizes with adjustable chairs and seatbelts.” Although the seat is not yet approved by the FAA, the approval of this patent will act as a beacon to other companies in the aviation space that size-driven innovation is something worth investing in. As companies continue to patent new products and technologies, the FAA will hopefully see the market-driven need to approve these innovations so they can be applied.
Plus-Size apparel brand Premme announced it is shutting down. Although the social media popularity of the founders and the brand probably led to lower customer acquisition costs, retail economics are hard and could have driven the closure of the label. I have no doubt that influencer-founders Gabi Gregg and Nicolette Mason have something else coming down the road. I would also not be surprised if some retailer or investor revived the brand.
There is a possibility that luxury department store chain, Barneys New York, will file for bankruptcy. According to the article below, “Young designers, brands, and retailers have made transparency and inclusivity (size, gender, and race) not only the norm, but also legitimately cool,” and Barneys has not adjusted their merchandising or messaging to reflect changing customer needs. Contrast this with digitally native and size-inclusive lingerie brand ThirdLove, who is now opening its first store. The market continues to illustrate that size-inclusivity is not a fad, but a key business driver for any brand that wants to succeed.