Exelle is a Dutch label whose collections are focused around being casually feminine, lightly sporty, always comfortable and definitely on-trend. Their designs have been a mainstay for plus size fashion lovers for more than 25 years, with the creative team bringing together feminine silhouettes and contemporary fashion trends with a great fit, every time. The result of their design process is a range of versatile pieces in colours and fabrics that can easily be worn together to create a variety of new outfits.
The Exelle ethos
Exelle prioritises natural fabrics such as viscose, linen and cotton. These materials make up most of each season’s range because they are crafted to create fluid lines, beautiful silhouettes and the most comfortable feeling against your skin. The collection covers everything from blouses to tunics, dresses, trousers, gilets, jackets and all kinds of basics. It transgresses boundaries of age, and are cut for women who are smart and active, and live their lives with confidence. The size range runs from 14 to 32. Fast fashion is a no-go for Exelle, who pay close attention to crafting fashion that lasts beyond that one single season. The labels core principles revolve around quality, durability and fit. It is important for the company that they respect people and environment, which is why they produce their clothing exclusively in Europe and dismiss mass production.
Exelle in its own words
The head of design at Exelle, Lies Bossink, founded the company in 1985. Her desire to start her own label began with a project she did while studying at fashion design school.
She says: “While completing the project, I realised that the selection in fashion for plus sizes was close to non-existent. As if women who wear plus sizes are not interested in fashion or beautiful clothes. I saw an opportunity to change that!“
Her goal from that point onwards became to design covetable, quality fashion in plus sizes. But that wasn’t so easy in the world of fashion education at the time Lies was studying. “20 years ago, there was hardly anything for someone who was a size 18, never mind a 28!” she says.
The Exelle origin story
Lies’ drive was motivated further by a personal experience: when a close friend’s house burned down and she lost all of her clothes in size 18, Lies Bossink decided to design a whole new collection for her friend.
What began as a favour to a friend in need led Exelle to become one of the top Dutch brands for plus size fashion, and upon completing her degree, Lies founded Exelle.
Designing a new collection takes several months. Lies explains: “We start off by selecting the materials and colours. We draw inspiration from everywhere. It's an ever-on-going process. We keep an eye on the stores, read magazines and travel to cities like Paris, Antwerp and Amsterdam. We always create samples and test them to make sure our creations are both beautiful to look at and comfortable to wear.“