Queens plus-size designer’s line Cabiria Style is blowing upSusan Scafidi in New York Daily News, November 26, 2013
An Astoria clothing designer is going big.
Eden Miller’s label Cabiria Style became the first collection for plus-size ladies to be shown in the tents of New York’s Fashion Week this fall.
Now, the award-winning costume designer, with purple-streaked hair and an array of whimsical tattoos, is fielding orders — and interest — from shops all over the world, and she says that has everything to do with quality.
“The things that are lacking in the plus-size market are better fabrics and better craftmanship,” said Miller, 41, who has a home studio.
“When you put on something that’s cheaply made or poorly made you don’t feel good about yourself,” she said.
Cabiria’s dresses, skirts and blouses, in sizes 12 to 24, feature big, graphic prints scaled to complement a larger frame, Miller said. The label was named for one of her favorite Fellini films, “Nights of Cabiria,” which featured a curvaceous actress.
Miller created the line in response to feeling unwelcome in the chic Soho and Meatpacking District shops that didn’t carry her size.
“There’s this idea that if you’re small, you’re good,” said Miller, who still works as a wardrobe supervisor for film and television. “And if you’re fat, you’re bad.”
But since Fashion Week, the orders have been pouring in.
And Miller, who launched Cabiria in 2011 with the help of a successful Kickstarter campaign, is now in talks with retailers ranging from Nordstrom to boutiques in Germany and Brazil.
Miller was one of six designers chosen for the Fashion Law Institute of Fordham University’s tent at Fashion week based on the strength of her designs, said Susan Scafidi.
“[Her clothes are] exuberant. They’re exciting,” said Scafidi, the institute’s director, who selected Miller out of a pool of about 150 designers. “She thinks about the bodies she’s dressing.”
Her apparel has earned rave reviews from the boutiques and online shops that carry them.
“She really flatters the figures,” said Denise Alden, owner of the plus-size boutique Bombshell, in St. Paul, Minn. Mass manufactured clothes will “pull against your bust but then the armholes will be down to your waist.”
The label’s silk, jersey and silk-and-cashmere blend fabrics are also appealing to bigger-boned fashionistas, she said. The plus-size market is saturated with cheap polyesters and stretchy fabrics.
Cabiria is also one of the top five sellers on AbbeyPost.com, an online shop for plus-
size threads that carries about 120 designers.
“This consumer is so used to being neglected and underserved that when she finds something that’s beautiful and high quality it’s very exciting,” said owner Cynthia Schames. Cabiria’s clothes, she added, “Are for women who want to stand out.”
Miller hopes more designers will follow her lead.
“Plus-size women want more options in fashion,” Miller said. And “retailers are realizing there are dollars to be made.”