It is officially September, and a hint of crisp fall air greeted me this morning, which means one thing: Jacket season! I love summer, but layering weather has a special place in my heart, and nothing gives me joy like a beautiful leather jacket. In the past, there has been a paucity of quality leather options in plus, but fortunately designer Jeff Cafone has just launched his first collection in plus.
Former musician Cafone turned to design as a creative when he decided touring forever wasn’t the life he wanted, and a fortuitous find of a beautiful bolt of leather in the back of a fabric store led him down the path to outerwear. He taught himself the complex craft of leatherwork, and started making custom coats for actors, artists, and musicians.
His creations were all well received, but Jeff noticed the heightened enthusiasm from his plus size customers:
The pieces were all bespoke made-to-measure for each client. I quickly found that when I was fitting women who wore larger sizes, the feedback was “Wow, this is amazing, I’ve never had access to something of this quality and style that looks and feels like this!”. I honestly didn’t think too much about it at first … But I was getting the same feedback more and more, so at a certain point I decided, “Ok, let me take a look at why people are telling me this. What is the state of Plus size fashion?” My mind was totally blown. I was shocked at the lack of quality pieces and the complete absence of luxury brands.
With his first full production collection, available in sizes 12-28+, he aims to be one of the people changing that. I was able to try out some early samples, and I was impressed from the outset. Cafone’s attention to detail is clear, and he is taking a purposeful approach to design decisions for plus. For example, the moto jacket styles have a slightly curved hem in the back, providing a space for a booty while still fitting right at the waist.
The materials are absolutely gorgeous as well: The luxe pebbled leather on the moto jacket is the same quality as a Rag & Bone jacket, but for almost half the price. Cafone’s jackets are still an investment piece, but with prices that are actually a steal when compared to comparable quality in the straight size market (a nice inverse to what usually happens, i.e. the dreaded “plus markup” for worse quality).
And this detachable fur collar? YES.
The suede jacket in Cafone’s first collection has all the thoughtful details and construction of the leather version (including functional zippers on both sides and a gorgeous silky lining, but is in the softest tan suede.
Cafone did not stop at jackets for his first plus collection; instead rounding it out with gorgeous fall pieces he saw the need for. I was happy to be part of the campaign for this lace up sleeve sweater, which again had such apparent attention to fit and detail the moment I put it on. I love the long split sleeves, which can be worn down or cuffed to switch up the look.
I love seeing more designers recognize the demand for high end options in plus, and I really appreciate the thoughtful approach Jeff Cafone has taken for his first Ready to Wear collection. There’s often a misconception that plus women aren’t willing to buy quality items for themselves, and I hope the response to these gorgeous jackets and tops shows the fallacy of that mindset.
(Tip: The current pre-order prices have a sizeable discount attached, so order now!)
Disclosure: I was paid for modeling, but not for this post – I am just REALLY excited about this collection! All thoughts and opinions my own, as always.