Anna Riera is just 18 years old and she’s already making a big impact in the world of fashion using the internet – but not by running a street style blog or gathering swarms of followers on Instagram.
Instead, this Catalan teenager has taken to the digital world to stand up to the world’s largest retail conglomerate Inditex – the owner of Zara – and Europe’s richest man, Amancio Ortega.
Riera created a Change.org petition calling on the clothing giant to start selling XXL or size 46 in its stores to provide “real sizes”.
“It is not only denying people the right to be able to shop in the most well-known stores in the world, but it is also saying that large sizes are not normal sizes, are not sizes that can be bought in any clothing shop,” Riera wrote in the petition.
“We need to start designing for people, not for stereotypes. We need to let go of labeling and discriminating against ourselves because we do not wear clothing according to our own physical sizes, but according to our personalities.”
After garnering more than 95,000 signatures, Zara has now started expanding its sizes to XXL for some of its items listed online.
— Change.org España (@change_es) May 13, 2016
“A huge step, thanks to all who have made this possible!” Riera wrote on Facebook.
Riera told newspaper El Correo that she has not had major problems with clothing sizes, only small frustrations, but people close to her often struggle, including with eating disorders.
“My mother, for example, is physically well, goes to the gym… but she sometimes has problems finding clothes in her size at these stores,” Riera told the newspaper.
“Manufacturers must realize that a woman who wears a 44 or 46 is not a person with obesity problems or anything else.”
Another Spanish retailer, Mango, had previously launched its own line of larger sizes called Violeta, and Riera noted that it was past time for Zara to follow suit.
But this isn’t the first victory for the teenager against the global fashion chain: Last year the Inditex group agreed to stop using “anorexic mannequins” with impossibly thin limbs after Riera created a petition that raised more than 100,000 signatures.
“I know changing the mannequins is only a start,” she said at the time, “but I think it will help lots of people give the issue the recognition it truly deserves.”