Lane BryantLane Bryant

Plus-sized fashion has come a long way since Lane Bryant was founded in the early 1900s. 

The brand — which once advertised “slenderizing” clothing for “stout” woman — has transformed into one of the leaders in advertising that puts body positivity front and center.

In other words, a business that was once built on making women feel like they needed to be thinner is now ready to make billions of dollars by telling them they’re just fine the way they are. 

The plus-sized clothing market is currently estimated to exceed $20 billion. According to a Lane Bryant investor presentation from early 2017, the brand believes that figure could reach $40 billion to $50 billion. 

“There is, to put it crudely, an insane amount of money just sitting on the table, and it seems, finally, that there are some savvy entrepreneurs out there ready to shrug off fashion’s inherent snobbery and claim a piece of it,” Ashley C. Ford recently wrote in New York Magazine.

Here’s how Lane Bryant’s transformation shows just how much the definition of plus-sized has changed over the last century.