Why Fashion Designers Said No To Melissa McCarthy's Oscar Dress

Brands turned down Hollywood's hottest publicity opportunity

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Can You Guess Which (Crazy) Fashion Designers Said No To Melissa McCarthy?

According to Melissa McCarthy in the July issue of Redbook, "five or six" fashion designers turned her down when she wanted to hire them to make her Oscar dress. At the time, she was more than a guest at the world's biggest event, she was nominated as Best Supporting Actress for her role in the smash hit Bridesmaids. Instead of ferociously competing for the plum, publicity-rich red carpet job, they turned down the big bucks and big opportunity.

Why? Was it money? Were these designers minting so much moolah they could afford to say no? Salary.com reports the annual median salary of a fashion designer in Los Angeles is $51,325. The median hourly wage is $25 an hour. A fashion designer in New York City fares a bit better; the median annual salary is $55,197 and hourly a whopping $27.

Obviously, these figures don't apply to the crème de la haute like Versace and Chanel. Money wouldn't be the primary motivator for them. But what would be?

Scuttlebutt has it that "brand" is the reason behind the big turndowns. The fear that dressing a plus-size woman, even one as beloved as McCarthy, would negatively affect their cherished brand identity.

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This sorry excuse was no surprise to Chrystal Bougon, founder of the popular CurvyGirlinc.com and head of its thriving community. "I hear from plus-size women day in and day out begging to give their money to the various retailers where they shop. But often there is just nothing that doesn't look like your Grandma's old drapes."

"Since the average American woman is size 14, it seems crazy there aren't more options for the rest of us. We are the standard now," Bougon continues. "Sexy is NOT a size. All of us want to feel sexy and relevant."

Michelle Merritt, acclaimed career coach and recent speaker at the Body Love Conference, shares her insights: "While the media may have found Melissa McCarthy's struggle to find an Oscar gown shocking, plus-size women everywhere just nodded in solidarity when we heard the news. Any woman over a size 16 who has worked in the business world or attended a black tie event knows the struggle it is to find quality fashion to fit her body. Until recently the options were matronly, poorly made, or resembled a tent. It's only been in the last few years that designers like Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren have added a plus-size selection."

"When I go shopping, most of the time I'm disappointed."

"Trying to find stuff that's still fashion-forward in my size is damn near impossible," McCarthy told the Hollywood Reporter in 2011. "It's either for like a 98-year-old woman or a 14-year-old hooker, and there is nothing in the middle." Born out of frustration and disappointment, the kick-ass actress (who studied fashion design in college) is launching her own plus-size clothing line. More than filling this significant retail gap, we expect her new designs to be as beautifully bodacious as she is. It's not only size twos who should be allowed to express their unique personal style.

In the meantime, let's try to figure out which designers said NO to the feisty, fabulous Melissa. Add your guesses to the comments below.

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613 Comments

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Cheryl

"Add your guesses below to who may have turned her down?" NO! The writer needs to do the research and present fact. It is insulting that few couldn't design a dress for this beautiful women. To me it lacks their talent to come up with something other than a "tent" look as the article stated. JERKS. She wore a dress on a SNL skit "why don't you come up here and see me sometime" she looked fab and it was a fancy gown dress.

5 hours ago Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gloria's Toy

SO THIS IS WHATS ON EVERYONES MIND. MELISSA WEIGHT. what a shame . its seems to me GIGI1105 she is happy,rich and is making a great living making people LAUGH. you hAD TO LOSE 75 lbs to find a boyfriend and to what BE HAPPY, well, i think melissa is happy within herself. take her for her. worry about isis or ebola now maybe you can stop and realize there are more inportment things in life than someones weight.

Saturday at 3:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gloria's Toy

oh you snobs who say I JUST LOST SO MUCH WEIGHT. Mel is happy in her body - not obese. you are not young or old to be sexy, damn fools. its whats inside that makes your beautiful. GIGI you turned your life around to what. Mel is making money and lots more than you can ever make in your life time, for just being herself. i think its wonderful when a person can be what ever they want and be happy. IN THIS CASE YOU HAD TO PROVE YOU LOST WEIGHT TO GET A BOYFRIEND. NOW YOU HAVE MY SYMPATHY. POOR MISGUIDED PERSON.

Saturday at 3:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gigi1105

she is so very pretty, but she is not just plus-size, she is obese!!! such a shame since she is still a young woman. why can't she try dieting or worst case scenario, stomach surgery!! i was very heavy in mjy teens, but since i wanted a boy friend, i went on a diet. it took a year but i lost 75 lbs and turned my life around.....i have no sympathy for people who don't try to lose weight!!!

Saturday at 12:38 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
captainbiptow

It would be most difficult to craft a gown to fit McCarthy's substantial presence. Naïve to think any of the designers would have taken on a project of that magnitude.

October 08 2014 at 11:09 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
myanich49

There is a difference between carring extra weight and been obese.

October 07 2014 at 5:56 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
shlob76

Good for her. I'm glad to see she is starting her OWN plus size company! No wonder these young girls think they have to be a size 3 to look good when these designers do business the way they do.

October 07 2014 at 2:17 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to shlob76's comment
martaja.jackson

Amen

October 07 2014 at 4:42 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
disneys888

Those designers turned down a HUGE opportunity. If they had made a beautiful plus size gown for Melissa, can you imagine how much sales they could have generated with the same gown or even expanded it along that line. Not to mention the great media press they would have gotten. All those designers who turned down that opportunity were ignorant and plain stoooopid!

October 07 2014 at 11:41 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to disneys888's comment
jpark377

No, they were smart: a painter needs to realize when the canvas just isn't right. I mean what's next: John Goodman wearing Armani?

October 07 2014 at 7:19 PM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jpark377's comment
MICHEL

@jpark377...ignore the "like" mark, it was an error. obviously you've never heard of Peter Paul Rubens to make such remarks
@gigi1105....you are THE PATHETIC one that you have to lose weight to get a boyfriend. you must be as ugly iside as outside!

Sunday at 11:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down
donwords

The bony little models set the standard for fashion, but they don't look anything like real women with their bony shoulders, skinny arms and legs and jutting hip bones. They look like survivors of Auschwitz. It's time for the designers to realize that men prefer women with a little bit of meat covering up their bones and stop pushing this skeletal model on the world.

October 07 2014 at 11:17 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
Karen

Shame on the designers, that is ridiculous but on the other hand, she is such a pretty girl....you would think she would loss some weight for herself and for her health.

October 07 2014 at 10:37 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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