Melissa McCarthy launches a fashion line and calls for the end of separate plus-size departments.

Actress, comedian, and Ghostbuster Melissa McCarthy can add one more talent to her resume — fashion designer.

McCarthy announced her new line, Seven7, an collection of leggings, tees, and denim, each $150 or less, for women sizes 4-28.


Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images for HSN.

For McCarthy, this is more than a typical celebrity clothing line, it's a childhood dream realized.

We know her as a gutsy comedic actress, but McCarthy grew up with a passion for fashion and actually started her career making costumes for a dance company. (Which may explain why she consistently slays on the red carpet. Haters take note.)


McCarthy greets fans at the 84th Academy Awards. Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images.

In her twenties, McCarthy took a chance and moved to New York to attend the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology, but the rush from a few open-mic nights drew her in, and her career path changed for good.

McCarthy at the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards. Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images.

Well, for good ... until now.

In addition to making comfortable clothes and accessories for women, McCarthy is using the launch of her line to break down barriers in the fashion industry.

McCarthy told Womens Wear Daily she's been, "every size on the planet," adding, "...when you go above a size 12, you don't lose your love of fashion."

As champion for body positivity, McCarthy denounced the label "plus-size" in a recent interview with Refinery29:

While current data estimates the percentage of women over a size 14 is closer to 65%, the numbers are still tough to ignore.

In fact, McCarthy is working with retailers to ditch the "plus-size" label and the clothing departments that only sell clothes 35% of the population can fit into for good.

" I have a couple of very big retailers that I think are going to help me chip away at that in a very meaningful way, and I'm really excited about it. I'm not ready to announce them yet, but they agreed to just put me on the floor. I said, 'Run the sizes as I make them and let friends go shopping with their friends. Stop segregating women.' And they said, 'Okay.'"

Ditching separate plus-size stores and departments is a small step that could change the way millions of women shop.

Despite a majority of women falling into "plus-size," it's still hard to find great clothes in a store because many retailers like Gap and H&M only sell their larger sizes online or in outlet malls. Specialty retailers like Lane Bryant and Torrid exist, but there is a stigma associated with shopping there. This leaves many women caught in the middle, with retailers refusing to listen despite the fact "plus-size" women spend more on clothes and accessories per month than their "standard-size" peers.

It's a $9 billion business, and McCarthy's star-power may be what it takes to get retailers to pay attention.



A customer shops at Lane Bryant in New York City. Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Lane Bryant.

McCarthy's Seven7 debuts in August 2015 in major department stores and online retailers.

McCarthy's collection will be available at Nordstrom, Macy's, Bloomingdales, and Lane Bryant and is available right now on HSN.

Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images for HSN.

An affordable fashion line for women of all sizes that's not strictly animal prints and unflattering muumuu tops is definitely something to cheer about.

And judging by the number of sold out pieces, I'm not cheering alone.

Me too. Me too. GIF from "Bridesmaids."

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Courtesy of Macy's

In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

Courtesy of Macy's

Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

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