Japan’s first plus-size fashion magazine, La Farfa, recently celebrated its second anniversary. Considered as one of the country’s fashion milestones, the magazine’s name is derived from an abbreviation of the Italian word for butterfly, “farfalla”, La Farfa. Only 50,000 copies of the magazine’s first issue were printed. However, because of its warm reception, the number of prints was doubled for the second issue.
The magazine was initially planned as a semi-annual publication, before it was boosted to come out every two months. The editor in chief of the magazine, Harumi Kon told Japan Times that the magazine wanted to provide a more positive representation of bigger girls.
“We don’t want to promote losing weight or gaining weight, because there are women that look gorgeous regardless of what they weigh.”
The magazine’s highlights include styling tips and lists of shops that cater to plus size women. It also features outfits that showcase these women’s beautiful curves. La Farfa is also known for its child-like flair and its use of animal-related phrases like ‘pigeon shaped’ to describe women, whose body shape features a more prominent chest area or ‘penguin shaped’ for women whose bodies have a prominent abdomen area.
Since its first release, the fashion industry of Japan took notice of the publication’s breakthrough. As a result, several fashion lines came out with new collections that cater to plus size women in the country. Lingerie line Pocha Kawabura recently launched a new line to accommodate larger cup sizes, while clothing brand, Plumprimo, announced a new range of fashion pieces for women of larger sizes.
In the wake of the magazine’s popularity, a new plus size pop group, Pottya, even debuted this year.
The events held to celebrate the magazine’s anniversary included a fashion show, which featured the publication’s readers and subscribers wearing famous pieces from different fashion brands.
By giving voice to an under-represented group in Japan, La Farfa is breaking the norms for fashion magazines in the country. It has stepped up from the usual publications that cater only to the perceived image of perfection and gave plus size women the much-needed encouragement they need to accept their sizes and shapes.