Tall is more than size, according to local clothing company
Local clothing company Amalli Talli describes its mission with a provocative slogan: “We firmly believe that size is not only defined by size and comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. “
Wait, size is not defined by size?
It’s a piece of the larger body positivity fashion trend, to accept that we’re not all built like models and that every body is different. Amy Rosenthal and Alli Black, two sisters measuring 6’3.5 “and 5’10.5” respectively, understand this personally. Although they are both tall, each sister encountered different challenges in purchasing the “tall” sections of women’s clothing. Some women wear their waist in long torsos; others with long legs. For this reason, a high waist may not always suit everyone.
The sisters opened Amalli Talli in a mall in Eden Prairie in 2014 to provide clothing that meets both their own needs and those of other tall women. “We needed a solution that represents the full spectrum of women,” says Rosenthal. They borrowed concepts from men’s clothing sizing, labeling their selection by inseam length and other proportion measurements instead of the ambiguous numbers that affect most women’s clothing. The sisters describe the store’s style as “accessible,” offering both basic pieces (jeans, black dresses, sportswear) and more on-trend clothing (the kind of thing you’d see on Pinterest, Rosenthal says).
During their time as a physical store before going exclusively online last year, Rosenthal and Black say the emotional response to their clothes was unexpected. Women laughed or cried in relief when they found clothes that made them feel at home in their own body after being embarrassed by their size for so long. They describe a leggy woman who was still too short to shop in most “big” stores, and her excitement about finally finding jeans that fit her. “We want to create a community where women feel comfortable,” says Black.
In order to expand this community, Amalli Talli closed her physical store and went online only. It’s a sign of the times, not a sign of defeat: it’s just easier to reach a larger audience if your customers can shop from home. So far, the sisters say they have received thank you messages from women as far away as Australia. “It talks about the time we’re in,” Black says. It also allows them to develop their private label, in addition to their selection of clothing from other designers.
As the business grows, the sisters hope to make a positive contribution to the self-esteem of tall women everywhere. As Black writes on Amalli Talli’s website, “Nothing is more rewarding than making people feel good about themselves.”
Photos courtesy of Amy Rosenthal / Amalli Talli
By Anne Kopas