New Zealand designer Ange Sloan is 100 percent over ready-to-wear’s lack of inclusivity
Ange Sloan, the woman behind Sloan’s size-inclusive and eco-friendly pieces, hasn’t bought a ready-to-wear garment, other than underwear, in two years. The designer, who grew up “falling asleep to the sound of sewing machines” thanks to her mother owning a clothing factory, believes that off-the-rack clothing doesn’t properly fit most bodies. For her, it can also be deeply triggering. “For me, having my eating disorder past, seeing a certain size would either bring me so much joy or so much pain,” she explains. This led to the creation of her namesake fashion brand, which consists of fully customized and inclusive dresses, tops, and skirts that forgo traditional sizing. Instead, the labels read “made in your size.”
“I think, especially with larger brands, if you are not actively being inclusive, it’s just like, what’s the point? People want to give them their money and they’re actively not doing it,” says Sloan. “They know that there are larger bodies, taller bodies, and smaller bodies, but they’re only focusing on what is easy.”
Sloan isn’t precious about modifying her designs to fit bodies and personal styles. She produces each garment as it’s ordered to each person’s measurements and specifications from her sewing nook. Slightly puffier sleeves? No problem. Midi instead of mini? Sure. “It just makes sense in my heart, having everything made specifically for somebody,” she says. “If I can do it, why not?” Fabric, which is selected by the customer, is locally and ecologically produced linen in classic and neutral tones or vintage prints. And no scraps are wasted—larger offcuts are used to make the reusable drawstring bags garments are shipped in, and even the tiniest bits find a home at area preschool programs for sensory play.
Sloan plans to extend her line (available at shopsloan.co.nz) with custom shorts and crops to fit every body. “It’s so amazing when I get a message [from a customer] saying how beautiful they feel [in my clothes], and how they feel seen and appreciated,” she says. “I want everybody to feel welcome and appreciated. Because all bodies are wonderful.” –Chris Ciolli
photos courtesy of sloan
top photo: Ange Sloan, wearing Cove wrap top and Midsommar skirt
This article originally appeared in BUST's Spring 2022 print edition. Subscribe today!