I am pretty confident that every single reader of this magazine has heard of Interrobang Art, but just incase you haven’t: Interrobang Art is a clothing brand which is designed, made and sold by the wonderful Christina. If you want to get some idea of the kind of clothing you’re going to get when you look through Interrobang Art’s Etsy shop, think of intergalactic edible wonderment, and then crank it up a notch. There’s holo. There’s pizza prints. And if you have a particularly obscure print that you wish you could integrate into your ensemble, she’s probably the best person to help you out there too. I was stoked when I noticed that the magazine seemed to be on Christina’s radar, because I know that for me personally she was one of only a handful of brands who actually did (and do) quirky and fun prints for fat people, in a world that told you that being fat meant you were, by default, drab. So I put together a handful of questions that I know we’re all dying to know the answer to. Spoiler alert: if she can do inclusive sizing, any brand can do inclusive sizing.
You’re the first designer who springs to mind when I think of inclusive sizing. Has that always been a priority to you?
When I first started, my size range was just 6-22, and although that’s still a wider range than most high street stores, I quickly realised it wasn’t enough. I had one comment on Instagram from a lady saying she wished a certain dress was available in her size and I pretty much immediately increased the availability up to a size 36.
How do you feel when you see larger brands saying they can’t or won’t stock the same sizes as you – usually citing financial reasons?
I get quite a few custom orders from people who send me pictures of dresses they can’t have as they don’t come in their size, asking me to make something similar (never an exact copy though!), so the demand is definitely there. I don’t really understand the reluctance to be size inclusive, if finances are the reason then they just need to alter their prices accordingly (but over the whole size range – not just charge more for 18+!)
It is so difficult to be self-employed and stay afloat these days, yet more and more people seem to be doing it. What was the appeal for you?
The main attraction for me was having full creative freedom, being able to design and make something entirely by myself is very liberating. Also choosing my own working hours, although sometimes I feel like I gave up the 9-5 to work 12 hour shifts instead! It is difficult, and some months it’s a struggle to pay the rent and bills, but overall it’s definitely worth it.
What are some moments you’ve had with your brand when you really can’t believe your luck?
When a post I made on Facebook went viral, and I had hundreds of messages of support from people all over the world, and lots of orders too! I saw an image of a straight size model wearing a pair of plus size shorts, but her whole body was in just one of the legs, I decided to retaliate by wearing one of my size small skirts on just one of my legs. The response I got was amazing, and of course there were plenty of trolls, but they were drowned out by all the support. It was incredibly surreal, and there were articles on Hello Giggles and Buzzfeed, and in my local newspaper, the Bristol Post!
Which is your favourite of your own designs?
My favourite changes a lot, depending on my most recent make! But at the moment I think it has to be my pizza dress!
Who are your favourite brands or designers right now?
I’m a bit of a jewellery addict, and my favourite brands right now are Muertos Mundo and Sour Cherry!
What can we expect from Interrobang Art in 2018? What is the ultimate goal?
I’ve started making zero-waste skirts this year, using up all of my remnants to create unique patchwork skirts! They’ve proven to be quite popular already, and I have mountains of remnants to get through so I’m looking forward to creating lots more one-off skirts! The fashion industry is incredibly wasteful, but it doesn’t have to be! For years I packaged up all my remnants into bags and sold them by weight, and they were really popular with people involved in various crafts, but then I decided to start using them myself! Other than that, I hope to keep being able to do what I love every day, and make the world a little brighter one skirt at a time!