This Wedding Dress Designer Just Changed the Game for Plus-Size Brides

December 18th 2015

Laura Donovan

Mercy Watson, a size 14 model, is the center of a recent David's Bridal spring ad campaign. The ads are receiving ample praise online for celebrating women who are plus-size, which is often considered size 12 and above, and challenging traditional beauty standards for brides. There's a lot of pressure for engaged women to lose weight and get a "perfect bridal body," so it's encouraging to see a campaign that speaks to more than just one type of bride.

The ads also serve David's Bridal's customer base, as the average customer is a size 14, according to Trevor Lunn, the company’s CCO. The average woman is a size 14 as well, so the ads can speak to non-David's Bridal customers too.

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“We recognize that our customers are all different sizes and silhouettes and felt it was important to reflect this diversity in our ad campaign creative,” Lunn told BuzzFeed Life. “It wasn’t that this season was precisely the right time to feature a size 14 model — it’s something we should have been doing all along. We want our message to be one of inclusivity, and Mercy is one model of our many who speak to that.”

This isn't the first time David's Bridal has included a size 14 model in the campaign, either. Last season's campaign featured Candice Huffine.

"We are proud that these images further reinforce our commitment to helping every bride-to-be find the gown of her dreams, regardless of her shape, style or budget and are thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with a model as beautiful as Mercy," Lunn told People.

The market for plus-size women's clothing was worth $9 billion in 2014, according to a report from IBIS World, and many retailers are failing to serve this demographic. Sizes 12 to 24 are typically considered plus-size, and the average woman is a size 14, yet many plus-sized women feel brands aren't manufacturing enough clothing for them.

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